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News & Notes: Third Downs a Top Priority On Offense


Third downs have been a season-long problem for the Redskins' offense.

In recent weeks, it has been a real source of struggle, though.

In the Redskins' last three games, the offense has converted just 4-of-37 third downs, including 0-for-10 in Monday night's 59-28 lopsided loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

For the season, the Redskins have converted just 24-of-111 third downs, a 21.6 percent clip that ranks last in the NFL.

"It's just something we have been very poor on," head coach Mike Shanahan said after the Eagles game. "We are going to continue to work on it. We moved the football and did some good things, but not quite good enough."

Earlier in the season, the Redskins found themselves in too many 3rd-and-long situations, which really hindered the offense.

In the first quarter of Monday night's game, the Redskins could not convert a 3rd-and-3, a 3rd-and-4 and another 3rd-and-3 all in the first quarter.

One of the third downs was a costly interception that set up the Eagles at the Redskins' 37-yard line.

While the offense was unable to generate any momentum, the Eagles were building what would become an insurmountable lead.

"When you're playing a team that's coming into the game hot like [the Eagles], you have to be able to move the chains," quarterback Donovan McNabb said. "The first two series, we had an opportunity on third and short and didn't convert. In the third series, I missed a pass to [Chris] Cooley. All of a sudden, it's 28-0."

Despite the adversity all game long, McNabb said the offense continued to fight.

"Even being down 28-0, I felt we still had a chance to come back," McNabb said. "We had some big plays early to put some points on the board, but it just didn't really balance out for us."


Two new names will be added to the Redskins' injury report this week.

Right tackle Jammal Brown suffered a concussion in the first quarter of Monday's game vs. Philadelphia.

He was replaced by Stephon Heyer the rest of the game.

Carlos Rogers suffered a hamstring injury during the game and did not return. He finished the game with five tackles.

He was replaced by Phillip Buchanon in the defensive lineup.

Mike Shanahan is expected to update the status of the team's injured players on Wednesday when he meets with the media following practice.

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