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Redskins Looking To Nip Third Quarter Struggles


Through the first six games in 2015, the Redskins have been outscored 46-3 in third quarters this season, a trend they're looking to reverse quickly.

Outside of the New York Giants game in Week 3, the Washington Redskins have clearly been the better team in first halves of games this year.

In fact, the Redskins have outscored their opponents in the first two quarters by a combined score of 66 to 35, and have had a halftime led in five of their six games this season.

But for whatever reason, the Redskins have struggled coming out to start second halves of games, as they've allowed 46 points and scored just three in third quarters to this point of the season.

Their most difficult third quarter was on Sunday when the Jets scored 20 unanswered out of the break – Washington went into halftime with a 13-10 lead -- and the Redskins wouldn't score again until late in the fourth quarter.

"Coach said start the first half off right," rookie right guard Brandon Scherff said. "He said only worry about the first half, and we came out, we came back to the locker room with a lead, and that third quarter gets us. We have three points in the third quarter. So we've got to change something up in the locker room and just go out and start competing harder and just finish more in the third quarter. Get rolling, so the defense can do their job."

There isn't exactly one select problem creating such havoc for the Redskins in third quarter of games this season.

The offense, defense and even special teams deserve equal blame for the struggles.

"We had some good drives in third quarters, just haven't been very productive," said Jay Gruden, Redskins head coach. "And that's something I've got to address. We have a plan. At halftime we preview the second half plays, we talk to the team, they get rested, we show them what happened in the first half, we talk about our plan moving forward, they're all eager, ready to go, they're fired up. But we haven't gotten much success or results in the third quarter. I don't know. We'll figure it out."

Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said the team comes out "with good fire" on gamedays, but the third quarter has gotten away from them too often.

Check out these top photos from the Washington Redskins' 2015 Week 6 matchup against the New York Jets Oct. 18, 2015, at MetLife Stadium.

Sometimes they rebound in the fourth quarter, but like the Jets game, that hasn't always happened.

"It's unfortunate," Kerrigan said. "We put ourselves in good position at half to win the game. To have those kinds of third quarters is tough."

Guard Spencer Long said as professionals, the Redskins have certainly experienced their own highs and lows over the courses of their careers.

Collectively, though, they must find a way to get out of the third quarter rut they're in together.

"A lot of us have been playing a lot of football in our lives and it's not like we're coming out there lulling, but it just seems like some stuff didn't go our way," Long said. "We've just got to come out and execute better in the third quarter. Just make sure we're staying up at half time and coming out with a fire under us."

The Redskins will look to turn around their early second half struggles on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedExField.

For what it's worth, the Buccaneers have also struggled in the third quarter at times this season, twice not scoring in the quarter in their five regular season games.

"It's not for lack of emphasis. It's not for lack of awareness, but for whatever reason, it's not happening," quarterback Kirk Cousins said. "That's something we want to improve upon because if you can't play all four quarters at a high level, you're going to have a hard time winning. We've shown what we're capable of when we are firing on all cylinders, so it's so important to not let that third quarter slip."




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