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Posted at 7:09 PM ET, 12/26/2010

Third-and-long situations held Redskins back early

By Rick Maese

The Redskins finished Sunday's game converting four of 15 on third-down attempts, but a slow start dug the Washington offense into an early hole, as several drives ended prematurely.

The Redskins failed to convert their first seven third-down attempts of the game Sunday. They didn't convert their first one, in fact, until less than three minutes were remaining in the third quarter. On that possession, quarterback Rex Grossman twice hooked up with receiver Santana Moss on third down to extend the drive, eventually allowing the Redskins to score a touchdown that would put them up 17-10.

"I think the hardest thing on third down was how many third and longs we were in," said offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

In fact, in the first half, the Redskins faced third-and-10, third-and-five, third-and-11, third-and-11 and third-and-10.

Because the defense is anticipating a deeper pass, the secondary can better anticipate the receivers routes, Shanahan explained.

"You're almost hoping for pressure in those situations because it's your only chance to pick up some yards," he said. "They were sneaking, playing pretty deep on them, so there wasn't much down the field and you've got to take checkdowns. If they make the tackles before the markers, you end up punting."

By Rick Maese  | December 26, 2010; 7:09 PM ET
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just to clarify my position on the matter, I agree we still need a better oline just dont feel the need to over compensate years of neglect by reaching for guards and centers in the FIRST round

Posted by: hcic55 | December 26, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

It's the same thing as when McNabb started, nothing new here. The only differnce is the red zone interception. Defense won this one. Shanny you haven't proved nothing about McNabb, Grossman sucked today and so did Kyle. It does not take a rocket scientist to throw it to Santana Moss and Coley.

Posted by: WarPathsux | December 26, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

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