Redskins looking to get off to a better start on offense

Redskins looking to get off to a better start on offense
October 31, 2013, 10:15 am

RGIII on dressing as a ninja turtle

The Redskins’ 2-5 start to the season can be attributed in part to their difficulties in getting things started. They have been outscored 67-20 in the first quarter. That’s a deficit of about one touchdown per game.

On offense, the Redskins’ first drive has been a microcosm of their problems. Against the Broncos, they took the opening kickoff and promptly went three and out. After the punt, Peyton Manning took Denver down the field to a touchdown.

In seven games, the Redskins have scored six points on their initial possession. They did get field goals in Dallas and against the Bears. But other than that it’s been two three and outs, a four and out, a seven-play drive that ended in a punt and, in the opening possession that set the tone for the year against the Eagles, one play and a fumble.

The Redskins have noticed the first-possession struggles. “We’ve been working on that to try to get something going,” said Mike Shanahan. “I think that, especially the first drive, you try to get that consistency and move the ball down the field and score some points, but we haven’t been able to do that. But that’s what we’re working on.”

Quarterback Robert Griffin III believes it’s a matter of fundamentals. “We just have to execute better from the get-go. We work on stuff all week in practice and we have to be able to translate that over to game day and that takes everybody,” he said. “We just can’t have some of the things that we’ve been having – missed assignments, missed throws, dropped passes. All those kind of things can lead to not being successful and we’ve got to eliminate those.”

Defensively, the Redskins have given up two touchdowns and a field goal on the opening drive. That’s pretty respectable. In fact, the defense scored on the Eagles’ opening possession on that lateral that Ryan Kerrigan batted back and DeAngelo Hall scooped up and ran in for a touchdown. So a net of 10 points given up on opening drives isn’t bad.

The Redskins tried to get their first possession jump started in Denver with a long pass on the first play. Griffin faked a handoff to Alfred Morris and an end around to Josh Morgan. Pierre Garçon was on a deep post and it looked like that’s who Griffin wanted to throw to. But he was covered, he didn’t like any of his checkdowns, so he ran for four yards. After an incomplete pass and a one-yard Griffin run, the Redskins punted.