Newly signed Brian Johnson kicks WFT to critical win over Raiders with long, late field goal

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Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) looks to pass against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

This is how to win over new teammates. 

Rookie kicker Brian Johnson signed with the Washington Football Team on Tuesday. On Sunday, he was asked to hit a go-ahead 48-yard field goal with 42 seconds left on the clock against the Las Vegas Raiders. 

He delivered. 

With Washington trailing 15-14 and fighting for a playoff spot, Johnson sent his kick through the uprights to give Washington a 17-15 lead that would hold as the final score after a last-ditch Raiders drive came up short. 

His first field goal of the day and the fourth of his career helped Washington to its fourth straight win and a 6-6 record that keeps it in control of the final wild-card berth in the NFC. The loss drops the Raiders to 6-6 and on the outside looking in at the AFC’s own frantic playoff race

Johnson joined Washington this week after the team placed kicker Joey Slye on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. He’s Washington’s fourth kicker this season following Dustin Hopkins, Chris Blewitt and Slye. Washington cut Hopkins in October and Blewitt in November after three of his five field goal attempts in two games were blocked. 

Johnson previously played for the New Orleans Saints, where he connected on all eight of his field-goal attempts in four games. But his missed three of eight extra point attempts, leading to his Nov. 19 release. Slye will miss at least two more games on injured reserve, ensuring that Johnson has more time to impress his new team and potentially secure the job for the season’s stretch run.

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