Washington converted just 1-of-9 third downs during a 24-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday — a 77-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Santana Moss on third-and-9 in the fourth quarter.
Of course, teams can move the chains before ever reaching third down. Washington ranks fourth in the NFL with 18.8 first downs per game on first and second downs.
But that might not be a feasible solution against the Vikings.
"They make you work," Shanahan said. "They make you go down the field. They make you beat them five yards at a time.
"They stop you on a few runs, and you get in a third and long, and they can tee off in that situation."
Notes: Shanahan said WR Pierre Garcon has been playing through injury. "It hurts him to run. He's got a lingering foot problem." ... DE Doug Worthington (calf, did not practice), Brandon Meriweather (knee, out), RB Evan Royster (knee, full participant) and CB Cedric Griffin (hamstring, partial participant) had the same designations Thursday as Wednesday.
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