Redskins fared better on third down against Vikings


Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan celebrates as Robert Griffin III runs toward his game-clinching touchdown Sunday (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

The Washington Redskins’ offense made a huge improvement in its third-down success rate in Sunday’s triumph over the Minnesota Vikings.

The Redskins converted six of 12 third-down opportunities against the Vikings into first downs. Perhaps most importantly, the 76-yard touchdown run by rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III that sealed the outcome in the Redskins’ 38-26 win came on a third-and-six play.

Entering that game, the Redskins had converted a league-low 23.3 percent of their third-down chances this season into first downs, going only 14 for 60 in that category in their first five games. They were one for nine a week earlier in a loss at home to the Atlanta Falcons.

“We converted a lot of third downs,” Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss said Monday in a conference call with reporters. “That’s something that we stumbled on last week. That was the only way that we were going to have a chance to be good on offense, if we convert our third downs. That was something that our coaches went over with us last week, one of the reasons why our game went the way it went…. We had a chance to win that game last week but being sorry like we were on third down, we didn’t give ourselves a chance to keep the ball longer and keep our defense off the field.”

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.

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Mark Maske · October 16, 2012

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