Gruden: Struggles on first and second down hurt offense

Gruden: Struggles on first and second down hurt offense
August 24, 2014, 1:30 pm
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The Redskins offense couldn’t get on track last night and coach Jay Gruden identified one of the issues after the game.

“We have to do a better job of getting into a rhythm, get some completions early, and get some first downs,” said Gruden. “We were so bad on first and second downs, it kept us in some third and longs.”

With the first-team offense playing the entire first half the Redskins ran eight first-down plays. They averaged 3.1 yards per play. If you take away the 19-yard run that Alfred Morris had on their initial first down play of the game that average drops to 0.9 yards per play. Their long gain on their last seven first down plays was seven yards. The other six went for between two and minus-five yards.

None of the above counts a kneel down play at the end of the first half. Nor does it include the first play of the second half when Robert Griffin III tried to force the ball in to Alfred Morris, resulting in an interception.

Second down, as Gruden noted, was not much better. The starters on offense averaged 2.0 yards a pop on their six second-down plays. When you add it all up they averaged 8.9 yards to go on third downs.

“When you get in third down and long against Baltimore with [Elvis] Dumervil, [Terrell] Suggs, and those guys rushing the quarter back it’s not fun for anybody,” said Gruden.

Griffin was sacked three times and pressured on other occasions.