The Washington Redskins rushed for 216 yards against the Cowboys but Kyle Shanahan was not completely happy with the performance. For one thing, the Redskins lost the game 31-16. On top of that there were situations where the Redskins needed to get even a modest gain on a rushing play but were unable to do so.
“I'd like to eliminate those negative runs,” said the Redskins’ offensive coordinator. “When you run on second and 10 you want to at least feel worst-case scenario to be third and seven. There were a couple of situations where we got into third and 12 and things like that.”
Against Dallas the Redskins ran the ball on second down 11 times and they averaged 3.5 yards per attempt. The only had one negative run for minus-2 yards but they got stopped for no yards four times.
One of those no-gain plays could well be the one that stuck in Shanahan’s craw a bit. Later in his news conference when discussing the team’s red zone woes (no TD’s in three trips) he referred to Alfred Morris getting stopped for no gain on second and goal at the nine on the Redskins’ opening possession. According to Shanahan the Redskins had about a 10 percent chance of scoring a touchdown on third and goal. Robert Griffin III came up two yards short of the end zone on a quarterback draw.
As an aside here, there were some who complained that the running play was too predictable. Not so. Since the start of the 2012 season the Redskins have had second down and from 8 to 10 yards to go in the red zone 13 times. They have run seven times and passed six.
Overall, the Redskins are doing pretty well in avoiding negative running plays when compared to last year, when the led the NFL is rushing yards. In 2012 they had an average of 5.8 carries per game that were for no gain or a loss of yardage. This year they are averaging 5.4 such rushing plays per game.