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Portis on why the Redskins can't convert on third down

Through their first three games, the Redskins have converted only six of 33 third-down attempts. They rank last in the NFL in third-down efficiency, at 18.2 percent.

No other team is below 24 percen. The New England Patriots lead the league at 58.3 percent. Why are the Redskins so bad on third down?

Running back Clinton Portis believes he knows the answer.

I think we put ourselves in third and long," Portis said. "We start off third and one, third and two, [and] by the time the ball snapped it's third and seven or third and nine. I think we just got to quit getting penalized. And it's crazy, 'cause, you know, an offside here and a delay of game there. It's drive-stoppers.

"When we come back and watch film, it's nothing that the defense is doing that's stopping us. It's us stopping ourselves. There's been numerous times we had third and short and jumped offside. Or we didn't get the play in on time. We just got to execute, get out of the huddle better and get the snap count better."

By Jason Reid  | September 30, 2010; 2:50 PM ET
Categories:  Clinton Portis, DeAngelo Hall  
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"Conan.....what is best in life?"

(Conan)"Crush all enemies...see them fall before you....and hear the lamentation of the women."

Top 5 all-time movie lines just below the Alec Baldwin scene in "Glengary Glenross".


Posted by: No_Punt_Intended | September 30, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

The no name thread... Still get the message though. Most games are won and loss on third down.

Still curious what the league average is... Gotta be below 40, maybe even 37 percent...

Posted by: RedDMV | September 30, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: RedSkinHead | September 30, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Farty McGhee in the house!!

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 30, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

ACtually, this was the same problem they've had for the last few years.

I'm going to go with 'line trouble' on this one.

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 30, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Portis may be onto something.

I just did a quick count ... on 3rd down distances

3-6: 0/2
7-10: 5/22
>10: 0/5

It looked as if the Skins had moved themselves backwards on 3rd down with penalties, will need to go back and check how often that happened.

What's most relevant -- out of 33 plays on 3rd down, 27 were from 7 yards or more!!!

Though even on 3 yards or less, we're just 1/4.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 30, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

oops, left out 3rd and 3 or less -- 1/4

I count 5 times the Skins made life harder on 3rd down via a penalty

3rd and 1 to 3rd and 6
3rd and 3 to 3rd and 13
3rd and 4 to 3rd and 9
3rd and 7 to 3rd and 12
3rd and 20 to 3rd and 30

So, by my count, the skins have had 3rd and 6 or less just 8 out of 33 times they've faced 3rd down -- and by the time the play happened, just 6 times.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 30, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey Clinton -- Here's another possible explanation for your consideration:

Since we have no legitimate run game, we must live and die by the pass. Sooner or later, the opposing defenses quit worrying about our run game and redouble their efforts to shutting down our passing game. And when we can't pass and we can't run, the only thing left to do is punt -- and turn things over to our defense and special teams.

Posted by: Vic1 | September 30, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The bottom line is that this team needs to REBUILD. We only have 4 YOUNG talented building blocks

1) Brian Orakpo
2) Trent Williams
3) Laron Landry
4) Fred Davis

The rest is some garbage!

Posted by: rickyroge | September 30, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Rickyroge - dude, put the pipe down. The rest is some garbage? How about London Fletcher, Chris Cooley, Santana Moss? I agree the Skins have had better talent, but it's just not right say the rest are garbage if you're referring to players like these ... All three are incredible performers at their positions.

Posted by: scottporter | October 1, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line - the problem with the Skins - their offensive and defensive lines are pretty bad, overall. Trent has talent - and so does Jamal (although he needs to step it up), outside these two, the rest would have problems even making another team much less starting. The defensive line is as bad. Both lines seem to get pushed around at will by other teams. It all starts up front. Great players up front make mediocre players in other positions look very, very good.

Posted by: scottporter | October 1, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

i like casey rabach's work ethic and smarts but he gets pimped every game like a cracked up ho. the other problem on the o line is stephon heyer. the greater the opportunity to make a big play on offense, the greater the chance for his dumb azz to commit a penalty! he's guaranteed like a busted knee when you don't pay back your debt to a loan shark!

Posted by: charronegro1971 | October 2, 2010 4:21 AM | Report abuse

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