In news that will surprise no one, the Redskins have the NFL's worst special teams unit. Mediocre returns, shoddy coverage and blocked punts and field goals tend to do that. And now, after Thursday night's game against the Vikings, we can add "failed fake punt" to the mix.
Of course, the Redskins' futility is such that they couldn't even properly pull that off; there was an false-start penalty on the play. This negated punter Sav Rocca's "pass to nowhere" you see above.
But Washington's special teams being what it is still found a way to mess this up. The ensuing punt led to a 20-yard Vikings return that also benefited from a Redskins 15-yard personal foul penalty.
To recap: Redskins failed fake punt saved by Redskins false start but the subsequent 46-yard punt netted just 16 yards because of the 20-yard Vikings' return coupled with a Redskins personal-foul penalty.
In case you're wondering, Rocca wasn't actually supposed to throw that pass. He was, you know, supposed to punt it.
“It was just a miscommunication,” intended receiver/gunner Niles Paul told the Washington Post. “[Special teams coach] Keith [Burns] would alert that play. That wasn't supposed to be called. ... It wasn't alerted because it was the first punt. That's why nobody knew. ... Keith would've alerted it from the sideline. Keith has to tell us that call was alerted. It wasn't alerted. It wasn't supposed to have been played.”
* .GIF via FanSided.com