Kicker Dustin Hopkins missed a potential game-winning 34-yard field goal in overtime, resulting in a tie with the Bengals, but will lean on the support of his teammates through the next week. *
Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins stood by his locker expressing regrets but not excuses.
With the opportunity to seal a victory over the Bengals in overtime with a 34-yard kick, Hopkins pushed the potential game-winner just left, sending the Redskins fans inside London's Wembley Stadium into gasps of disbelief, one of the final auditory notes that would describe the team's 27-27 rollercoaster tie with Cincinatti.
Check out the top images from the Washington Redskins' 2016 Week 8 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals Oct. 30, 2016, at Wembley Stadium in London.
After holding the Bengals from field goal range midway through overtime, the Redskins offense drove down the field starting from their own 22 yard-line to the point where quarterback Kirk Cousins could kneel at the Bengals 16-yard line with two minutes and 13 seconds left.
Hopkins initially kicked through his first attempt but Cincinnati called a timeout right before the snap. After a brief time to gather his thoughts, Hopkins lined up again, holder Tress Way gathered a slightly high snap and the kick hooked just left, putting a damper on thoughts of celebration.
"Bottom line is I didn't hit the one I needed to," Hopkins said. "I'll have to go watch the film, see what happened. I felt comfortable before the kick, it wasn't like a nervous thing. I'll just have to see what technically happened with the whole operation."
The Redskins defense thwarted the Bengals' last efforts on offense thanks to Chris Baker stripping away the football from quarterback Andy Dalton at midfield, but the offense wasn't able to get back into field goal range, opting for a final, and ultimately failed, Hail Mary pass.
Hopkins couldn't offer too much insight into why the kick sailed left on him until he watches the tape once the team returns to Virginia. The tie, an outcome Hopkins said he had never experienced before, was a consolation for his internal disappointment, which will sit with him for a couple days as the team heads into its bye week.
"Obviously I'm disappointed in my execution of what I'm supposed to do," Hopkins said. "Especially when you have guys in here offensively and defensively that put everything on the line for an expected period of time longer than a regular game. So I'm disappointed for them that I didn't come through. People will say 'forget about it,' and there's something to it, but I'll probably let it bother me for a good day or two, and then get over it."
His miss overshadowed the 40-yard field goal he made with just more than a minute left in the fourth quarter to effectively send the game to overtime. Hopkins finished 2-of-4 on field goals with three extra points, his other miss coming on a 55-yarder before halftime that didn't have enough distance.
"I just really didn't hit it well," Hopkins said of the earlier miss. "I toed it. So it wasn't as much as we shouldn't have tried it as much as I didn't hit the ball that I usually hit from there."
Some pointed to the cooler air and slicker field conditions at Wembley as potential reasons for the difficulties, but Hopkins said none of those factors played a part in his kicks and that trusting his footing on kickoffs was the only concern he had in the game.
With the chance to head home on a long flight carrying an emotional victory under their belt lost, players remained supportive of Hopkins, knowing his missed opportunity was just one of plenty on the day.
"We're not looking at [Dustin] Hopkins any different; he's a great kicker," Baker said. "There will come a lot of games late in the year when he's going to win a couple games for us. So keep his confidence up, I know he's a little down on himself, but it's a team loss, not a Hopkins loss. We had a lot of other plays where we could've won the game, but we just came up a little short today."
Hopkins has indeed been one of the strengths of this team through the first half of the season, connecting on 18-of-22 field goals and missing just one extra point. Certainly Sunday's overtime miss will stay with him longer and cut deeper, but this week will continue to be an important time to clear his head and return to practice next week refreshed and eager for more opportunities.
"I try my best every time I go out, and that's the only standard I can really hold myself to," Hopkins said. "Obviously I expect more from myself. I can't expect anything more from these guys, they played their heart out. So, I'm disappointed for them. So I'll let it sit for two days and then get over it and get ready fro the next gam e. It's a long season,; we have a whole other half left. I can't let this turn into another game, another game, and hopefully I'll bounce back and start putting it through."