A week after producing one of their best offensive outputs in years, the Redskinsâ offense regressed against the Denver Broncos on Sunday and struggled to extend drives and capitalize on prime opportunities that couldâve given them the win.
Only once all game did the Redskins manage to produce an extended scoring drive. That bit of success came at the tail end of the second quarter when the team went 95 yards in 16 plays and found the end zone with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Robert Griffin III to Leonard Hankerson.
But the only other offensive scoring drive came when linebacker Brian Orakpo recovered a fumble at the Denver 25, and Washington needed just three plays â all runs by Alfred Morris â to find the end zone and take a 14-7 lead.
But another seven possessions ended in punts, and five others ended in turnovers.
âShoot. Everything,â wide receiver Pierre Garcon answered when asked to list the problem areas on offense. âWe couldnât run the ball, couldnât throw the ball. Couldnât get open, couldnât catch the ball, couldnât run the ball. Apparently, everything stopped working.â
The Redskins return all 11 starters from last yearâs impressive offensive attack, but Garcon believes that this yearâs struggles stem partially from an inability on Washingtonâs part to adapt.
âI guess weâve got to make mid-game adjustments,â Garcon said. âThatâs the thing that we need. It sucks. Weâre 2-5 and defenses are changing and I guess weâre not changing, weâre not doing something, weâre not communicating and doing what we need to be doing.â
A week after racking up 499 yards, the Redskins managed only 266 yards against Denver.
Garcon, Griffin and other offensive players admitted that they seemed out of sync, but none could pinpoint the source of the struggles.
âWe just needed to be better in general and in all aspects of the game: throwing, catching the ball, making positive plays and staying out of bad situations,â Griffin said. âMy message to the guys was, âWe have to forget about this game today. Go back, watch the film, get better from it, point your finger at yourself rather than point it at anyone else, and thatâs the only way we can get better.ââ
Some of the Redskinsâ diminished effectiveness in the second half seemed connected to Washington straying from the run game.
Alfred Morris had 17 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown. Nine of those carries for 66 yards came in the first half, and by the end of the third quarter, Morris had 15 carries for 91 yards. But he had only two carries for two yards in the fourth quarter.
Asked about the disappearance of the rushing attack in the fourth quarter, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said, âAfter a game, you can always second-guess your calls if they donât work. Thatâs part of football, but we probably have as much balance as anyone in the National Football League. We try to do pending on how theyâre playing their fronts. If theyâre playing eight-man fronts or seven-man fronts, it dictates if we run it or pass it. At the end of the day, youâve got to find a way to get a first down.â
Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line âMailbag questionâ for him to answer it inÂ The MailbagÂ on Tuesdays.
â The Redskins return from Denver and begin preparations for the Chargers on Sun. Nov. 3.
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