The Redskins have been starting games well but finishing them poorly.
In aggregate they have outscored their opponents in each of the first three quarters of their five games. The Redskins have scored 38 points in the first quarter to 27 for the other team, have a slim 41-40 advantage in the second period and have come out of the locker room and doubled up the other team 34-17 in the third quarter. That is a 113-84 edge in the first 45 minutes of play.
But in the fourth quarter things fall apart. They have been outscored 63-27 in the final 15 minutes of play. The fourth quarter woes are why the Redskins are 2-3 instead of having a better record.
In each game they have played they have been leading or tied going into the fourth quarter and have been outscored in the final 15 minutes.
In New Orleans the Redskins led 30-17 going into the fourth quarter and were outscored 15-10 in the last period.
In St. Louis they were up 28-23 at the end of three quarters and were outscored 8-0 in the fourth.
They were tied 24-24 with the Bengals going into the fourth quarter and were outscored 14-7.
The Redskins led the Bucs 21-13 after three quarters of play and were outscored 9-3 in the fourth quarter.
Last Sunday, the Redskins led 10-7 after 45 minutes and were outscored in the fourth quarter 17-7.
Thats when it really matters, said linebacker Lorenzo Alexander. Thats been the issue around here for a long time. We can compete with teams but in the fourth quarter when it comes down to it, making plays, we tend to fade away and the other teams seem to make plays.
Thats across the board and if you want to become a good team in this league you cant allow that to happen.
The fourth-quarter fades continue a trend from last year. In 2011 the Redskins were outscored 126-82 in the final period.
GLENDALE, AZ—The Redskins went into today’s game against the Cardinals somewhat banged up and they exit with a couple of additional injury concerns in the form of concussions.
Center Spencer Long left the game in the second quarter. Initially it was announced that he had been evaluated for a concussion but that he had been cleared. But after halftime the word came down that he had been retested and it was determined that he does have a concussion. Long has entered the concussion protocol.
Veteran John Sullivan, picked up earlier this season when Kory Lichtensteiger went on injured reserve, filled in a center the rest of the way. He is a capable fill-in but if Long is out he would be the only available center. The Redskins might have to sign a center if it looks like Long will be out of action against the Eagles.
In the fourth quarter safety Will Blackmon left the game. According to Redskins coach Jay Gruden he was being evaluated for a concussion and a stinger. His exact status is unknown. Gruden will give more information during a conference call with reporters on Monday.
[MORE: JOSH NORMAN ON HIS CRUCIAL FOURTH-QUARTER PENALTY]
GLENDALE, AZ—The Redskins had a couple of chances to stop what would eventually turn into the Cardinals’ game-clinching drive in the fourth quarter. The first one came when they went for it on fourth and one at their own 34. It was a gutsy call by Arizona coach Bruce Arians and David Johnson make him look smart by popping off a 14-yard run.
The Cards earned that one. But it looked as though they got something of a gift a few plays later when Josh Norman was flagged holding receiver Larry Fitzgerald. It was a borderline call, granting Arizona a gift third and five conversion. Two plays later Carson Palmer went in for the kill, throwing a 42-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Nelson.
On the field, Norman seemed to be none too pleased with the penalty flag. He said after the game that he thinks that Fitzgerald may have stolen a flag.
“He [Fitzgerald] was within five yards. Larry is a wily vet,” said Norman. “I'd been doing it all game, kind of . . . He breaks out and I go for the ball and the flag got thrown. We'd like to see that not happen in that situation because there was some good position, some good leverage. And a flag came out.
“It is what it is. You can't blame a call on that, blame a call on this. It's whatever, man.”
Norman is right. The Redskins blew plenty of chances to take control of the game and the blame can be spread around on both sides of the ball. But the flag will loom large as the Redskins try to shake off this loss and get ready for the Eagles next week.
[MORE: ANGRY JAY GRUDEN SAYS REDSKINS 'NOT EVEN CLOSE' TO THINKING ABOUT PLAYOFFS]