Graham Gano was the source of a lot of agony for Redskins fans last year. He had an abysmal year where he ranked last in field goal percentage among starting kickers. Some fans even attribute multiple losses directly to Gano. This preseason, Mike Shanahan looked to challenge Gano with veteran kicker Shayne Graham. Graham was beyond awful in the first preseason game and was let go immediately. Then Clint Stitser was brought to DC and it was never really a competition for Gano.
Looking at this year, Gano has fared pretty well, currently he's made seven of ten field goals. The only miss I can really pin on Gano, at this point, is a kick in week one against the Giants. Beyond that, his other two misses seem to be the result of various breakdowns in front of Gano. Also, he has already hit a 50+ yarder this year, which he had not done previously in his NFL career.
If we examine beyond just field goal kicking Gano has been very solid on kickoffs. He's booted 12 touchbacks or about 63 percent of his kickoffs. Mike Shanahan's patience and faith in Gano may pay off, and hopefully he'll continue down the path of becoming a long term solution for this franchise. The moment I found most encouraging for Gano was when he nailed a high pressure, game winning field goal against the Cardinals.