What we learned in the Redskins' loss to the Falcons

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

1 There's some frustration by the cornerbacks regarding the safety play and the occasional lack of help being provided. Three weeks ago DeJon Gomes messed up on the Wildcat touchdown pass against Cincinnati, and a week ago Madieu Williams failed to provide sufficient help on some passes. On Sunday, Reed Doughty was late on a touchdown pass to Julio Jones. That prompted cornerback Josh Wilson, over whom the pass was thrown, to express his displeasure. Without naming Doughty specifically, Wilson blamed the late-arriving help. Doughty agreed with the assessment. It's hard to imagine this situation improving. The Redskins' safeties all are better suited as backups.

2

Third downs have been an issue all season, though it has gotten worse the past two weeks as the Redskins have converted only three of their last 20 third downs into first downs. The big problem: They're in too many third-and-longs. Of the Redskins' 60 third-down situations this season, they have needed at least seven yards on 38 of them. It's not surprising that they have converted only seven of those 38 into first downs. It gets worse: Of the seven they have converted, only three have come via the pass. All totaled, the Redskins have converted only three of 26 passes on third-and-7 or longer into first downs.

3

The tight end blocking has improved and is probably as consistent as it has been in a few years. That's not a knock on Chris Cooley, who was cut, but a nod to a better job by Fred Davis and Logan Paulsen in particular. Niles Paul's best blocking typically comes when he can use his quickness in space. But Davis and Paulsen are best on the line, and both have had pivotal blocks in the past. Before this season Davis would have one good game followed by a bad one. That hasn't happened in 2012 as he has done a better job finishing his blocks. Paulsen's footwork has improved, allowing him to seal the end better.

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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