Solid special-teams play has been a key to some good things for Jacksonville this season. But a poor play to start overtime Sunday against Washington helped set up a doomsday scenario for the Jags.
Karim’s misplay didn’t directly result in David Garrard's terrible interception three plays later, but it killed the momentum the home team built with a fourth-quarter drive that produced a touchdown to tie it. Redskins cornerback Kevin Barnes ' interception set up Gano's 31-yard field goal that gave the Redskins a 20-17 victory.
“They popped [a kickoff] up earlier in the game,” Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio said at his Monday news conference. “That was not a pop up. I think he just hit it and maybe didn’t hit as well as he could have or would have liked to, but we’ve got to up come up and field that ball.
“[Karim] has got to be in position to field that ball. We can’t let that ball hit the ground. ... We’ve got to execute better in that situation. It wasn’t the first kick of the game. You’re talking about several kicks into the game. We each had plenty of opportunities. We understood the dynamics of the wind, the fact that it was doing its thing. We’ve got to execute better in that situation, no question, whether it’s Deji, an up-back, that ball can’t hit the ground. You cannot let the ball come off a kicker’s foot and hit the ground in that situation. We didn’t handle that properly, and as a result we started on the 11.”