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Mike Shanahan: ‘Our Secondary’s Got To Be Much Better’

by Grant Paulsen
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Andrew Hawkins of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball in for the winning touchdown against the Washington Redskins. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

Andrew Hawkins of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball in for the winning touchdown against the Washington Redskins. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

Grant Paulsen Grant Paulsen
Grant Paulsen is the Redskins beat reporter for 106.7 The Fan and...
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The Washington Redskins have dropped consecutive games and in the wake of allowing 69 points in the last two weeks, the club’s secondary is taking immense heat for it’s poor play.

Washington allowed four passing touchdowns, including scoring strikes from 73, 48 and 59 yards en-route to a 38-31 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The Redskins yielded 401 passing yards including six completions of 20 or-longer while seeing their ranking against the pass fall to 31st out of 32 teams.

“We’ve got to play much better as a secondary,” head coach Mike Shanahan admitted on Monday. “Our secondary’s got to be much better than we played on Sunday.”

The maligned unit has blown several assignments and missed a plethora of open-field tackles over the past two weeks. On Sunday, cornerbacks Josh Wilson and Richard Crawford were both beaten for long touchdowns on plays where they didn’t have any safety help

Heck, on the opening play of the game the Bengals completed a 73-yard touchdown pass out of the wildcat when AJ Green streaked past safety DeJon Gomes before making a catch and sprinting untouched into the endzone. The fact that Gomes was lined up over Green while cornerback DeAngelo Hall was marking quarterback Andy Dalton, split-out along the sideline, is as bothersome as how open Green was when he caught the football.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” free safety Madieu Williams said. “It’s something that we have to continue to learn from. It sucks that the last couple of weeks we have to come in here and watch the film and correct mistakes, things that are self-inflicted. There’s a lot of things that we did that we could have easily prevented.”

Through three games, the Redskins have allowed 16 completions of 20 or-more yards, second-worst in the NFL. The four 40-plus yard completions Washington’s yielded are also second-most, and opposing quarterbacks are currently playing to a 105.3 quarterback rating against the 1-2 NFC East club.

“That’s an area of concern,” Shanahan said about the abundance of big plays his team is giving up. “We’ve got to be better as a group. We’re going to work on that this week and hopefully improve.”

Washington is allowing 9.1 yards per completion, a number lower than only the 9.3 the New York Giants are issuing. The 337 passing yards the Redskins are giving up per game are 115 more yards per contest than the team gave up one year ago.

“We’ve got to do a better job that we’re a lot smarter,” Williams said. “We’ve got to put ourselves in position to recognize plays and execute regardless of what’s being called on the sidelines.”

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