Shanahan was asked if the Redskins abandoned the run too quickly in the late stages of the 45-21 defeat, in which the Broncos scored the game’s final 38 points. With the game tied at 21 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, the Redskins had three straight passing plays. Quarterback Robert Griffin III threw three incompletions in a row and the Redskins punted.
“You don’t have the run calls in the fourth quarter, which I know is what you guys are all getting at,” Shanahan said. “And I don’t like it either…. I know what we want and the philosophy. We want to be balanced. And we weren’t balanced there in the fourth quarter. I can attribute it to a bunch of things. The main thing is, it’s not something you want to do as a play-caller. But as I always say, it’s tough to get runs called when you don’t stay on the field. We had four series there [in the fourth quarter] before we were down 17 points with 6 1/2 minutes to go. And in those four series, our longest drive was three plays, with another one being two plays.”
If the Redskins had been more successful in the passing game and extended drives, Shanahan said, they would have had more of an opportunity to blend in running plays.
“We didn’t stay on the field,” Shanahan said. “I felt if we would have got first downs and stayed on the field, I can promise you that ratio would have gotten back there. But we didn’t. So we ended up punting and the ratio gets skewed. When I look back at it and I look at myself hard, obviously I didn’t do a good enough job. When you turn it over five times in the fourth quarter, I mean, that’s all of us. But it starts with me. You know, that third series [of the fourth quarter] in particular, it started out with a play-[action] pass that I really wanted to get versus certain coverage and I didn’t get that. So that’s definitely one play in particular I wish I ran it on first down on that third series.”
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