Posted October 12, 2012 on AP on Fox
The Washington Redskins have no single answer to why they're last in the league when it comes to converting on third down. Teams with poor third-down conversion percentages often explain the problem comes from not gaining enough yards on first and second down to set up short third-down tries. But it's not so simple for the Redskins. They rank last in the NFL, converting just 23.3 percent of their third downs (14 of 60). ''I don't think it's ever one thing in particular,'' Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. ''It's a little different thing each week.'' The Redskins are a combined 0 for 9 on third-and-2 and third-and-3. The league average conversion rate in those situations is 47 percent. Shanahan said his philosophy on third-and-2 or third-and-3 depends on the opponent. Washington has converted both its third-and-1 attempts, but no team has faced fewer third-and-1s this season. League-wide, teams are converting 66 percent of their 3-and-1s. Shanahan said players tend to press on third downs when they fail so often to convert, but he hasn't seen that with this team - at least not yet. ''I don't think that's been the issue so far, but I think everybody does up to a certain time when that's obviously what you're struggling at each week,'' Shanahan said. Quarterback Robert Griffin III - who appears on track to start against the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday after practicing Thursday - believes the Redskins won't fret on third downs. ''It's not something you need to press about,'' Griffin said Wednesday. ''It is something that is a glaring issue for us right now. Teams are going to try to exploit that and say `Hey, whatever we run on third down, these guys aren't being able to move the ball and get first downs.' We'll make sure we clean that up, and that takes everybody.'' Washington converted just 1-of-9 third downs during a 24-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday - a 77-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Santana Moss on third-and-9 in the fourth quarter. Of course, teams can move the chains before ever reaching third down. Washington ranks fourth in the NFL with 18.8 first downs per game on first and second downs. But that might not be a feasible solution against the Vikings. ''They make you work,'' Shanahan said. ''They make you go down the field. They make you beat them five yards at a time. ''They stop you on a few runs, and you get in a third and long, and they can tee off in that situation.'' Notes: Shanahan said WR Pierre Garcon has been playing through injury. ''It hurts him to run. He's got a lingering foot problem.'' ... DE Doug Worthington (calf, did not practice), Brandon Meriweather (knee, out), RB Evan Royster (knee, full participant) and CB Cedric Griffin (hamstring, partial participant) had the same designations Thursday as Wednesday. --- Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Redskins defensive end loses bet to ex-WWE star, dresses up like pro wrestler (pic)

Washington Redskins defensive end Adam Carriker — an avid pro wrestling fan who hosts his own wrestling-themed show, 4th & Pain — recently was forced to pay up on a lost bet he made with former WWE star Bill Goldberg related to the outcome of the Washington Redskins-Atlanta Falcons game last week. But money wasn’t involved. Instead, [...]

Robert Griffin III says he “felt sharp” in Wednesday’s practice

RG3 looks as if he will play this week against the Vikings. The Redskins will need him if they want to win this week, because Kirk Cousins looked horrible in his few snaps that he took. Cousins threw two interceptions in just 9 passes.Robert Griffin III (concussion) says he “felt fine” in Wednesday’s limited practice, and hasn’t had any “bad symptoms.” “I felt sharp...

Redskins Say Play-Calling Won’t Change, With Or Without…

Redskins Say Play-Calling Won’t Change, With Or Without RG3 - Washington Redskins Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan stated that he will not change his play-calling to protect Robert Griffin III, coming off a Week 5 concussion. “If I went into a game thinking I had to call a different game because, if he got hit, he’s going to be hurt, then he shouldn’t be playing,” Shanahan...

Pierre Garcon Still Battling Foot Injury

According to Redskins Insider Chris Russell, Washington OC Kyle Shanahan said receiver Pierre Garcon is still battling through a foot injury.Fantasy Spin:Shanahan said it still hurts Garcon to run. This is likely an injury that Garcon will have to deal with for most of the season; it's just a matter of playing through the pain. He hasn't been very effective since returning...

Robert Griffin III Fully Practices Friday

Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III (concussion) was a full participant in practice Friday but he's still listed as questionable for Sunday's game.Fantasy Spin:Griffin still needs to be medically cleared to face Minnesota but all signs point to him being ready to go Sunday.

Robert Griffin III says he felt fine during practice

After today’s practice, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III says that he felt fine while on the field working with his teammates.“I felt fine. I haven’t had any bad symptoms,” said Griffin.Griffin still needs to clear another concussion test. We won’t know if he’s playing on Sunday until Friday.

Pierre Garcon is Questionable

According to the Washington Post, Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon (foot) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game.Fantasy Spin:Garcon is still dealing with pain in his injured foot when he runs and is not considered 100 percent. He's likely going to deal with the injury for most of the season, making him a risky fantasy start going forward even if he plays through the pain.

RG3 practices fully for Redskins, listed as questionable

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III participated full in Friday's practice, providing another sign that he will start Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings. Griffin is still listed as questionable, five days after he suffered a mild concussion in a loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The rookie must still receive medical clearance. "Doctors make those...

RG3 still on track to start vs. Vikes

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is still on track to start Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said Griffin - who suffered a concussion last Sunday during a 24-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons - looked ''good'' in practice Thursday. Shanahan says ''there didn't look like there was any setback.''...

RG3 Has No Setbacks Thursday

Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III (concussion) took about 75-80 percent of the snaps in Thursday's practice and had no setbacks, according to John Keim of the Washington Examiner.Fantasy Spin:Griffin should be fine to start Sunday against the Vikings. He's experienced no major symptoms following his minor concussion in Week 5 and has been able to resume practicing...

Redskins are worst in NFL on third down

The Washington Redskins have struggled badly on third downs, even when they are in favorable yardage situations.

RG3 appears ready to play vs. Vikings

Robert Griffin III took part in the Washington Redskins' full practice Friday for the first time this week and appears set to play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. Griffin was full-go after being limited Wednesday and Thursday while recovering from a concussion suffered in last week's 24-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The rookie quarterback has been subject to NFL...

Minnesota Vikings (4-1) at Washington Redskins (2-3) NFL Week 6 Preview

Follow @Dan Vasta and like Gridiron Grit on Facebook  Evan Vucci/AP Robert Griffin III is expected to be at full strength coming off his concussion against the Falcons, and hopefully he will learn from running flush out of the pocket. The more you run in the NFL, the more you are prone to major injuries and certainly the Redskins need their franchise quarterback to stay in the...

Preview And Prediction: Vikings (4-1) @ Redskins (2-3) - Rookie…

Preview And Prediction: Vikings (4-1) @ Redskins (2-3) - Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III is practicing after suffering a concussion last week, and it looks like he’ll get a crack at snapping the Washington Redskins’ eight-game home losing streak. The Minnesota Vikings will have running back Adrian Peterson in their bid for a fourth straight victory in the nation’s capital...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.