The Redskins have a problem getting first downs on third down. Their conversion rate is 25.5 percent, tied for 31st in the NFL.
However, they are not having much trouble getting first downs overall. They have 98 first downs and they are fourth in the NFL with 24.5 per game.
The Redskins are 13 for 51 on third downs, 25.5 percent. They are two for two on fourth down. Doing the math, they have 83 first downs on first or second down, or just about 21 per game.
The Bucs game was typical. They were 2-11 on third down, 18 percent. But they still piled up 27 first downs.
Mike Shanahan has been known to fret about his team’s third-down conversion rate (which was 37 percent last year and 29 percent in 2010) but he does not seem all that concerned.
“That’s a problem I want to have,” he said of the third-down struggles. “To have the yards we’re having, the first downs, the time of possession and still not do very well on third down.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had that situation before. We have 15 plays over 15 yards and still have the problems in the third down area.”