For the first time in his 25 year coaching career, Mike Shanahan coached team was shut out when the Buffalo Bills easily handled the Washington Redskins 23-0 on Sunday. Washington amassed just 178 yards of total offense, rushed for a mere 28 yards, was 4-of-14 on third down conversions, and allowed the Bills to rack up nine sacks by game's end. The Redskins have now scored the third fewest points in the NFC (116), ahead of only Seattle (109) and St. Louis (87) in the conference.
Yet, despite the team's immense struggles offensively, Shanahan does not believe the issue is a matter of play-calling. When asked if he was comfortable with the Redskins play calling duties performed by his son and offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, he responded:
"Yeah, I'm pretty comfortable with the play-calling. I'm heavily involved with the offense."
It is of course hard to establish much of a rhythm offensively when your quarterback is sacked nine times, but through seven games now, the Redskins have only two passing plays of 40 or more yards, the second lowest total in the NFL. They do, however, have 24 passing plays of 20-plus yards, the 11th most in the league. In the run game, the 'Skins are averaging just 3.9 yards per carry (26th). It's no secret that Shanahan's offensive success is typically predicated on a consistent rushing attack, and outside of a few games this year, Washington has been unable to get things going in that department. Perhaps that's why they signed former Cowboys RB Tashard Choice on Monday.
It's not too late for the Redskins to find their identity on offense, but based on what fans have been treated to during the team's three-game losing streak, the problems plaguing the offense may not have an easy fix, be it improved play calling, the Choice signing, or anything else other than better personnel in due time.