LANDOVER — The Redskins had an opportunity Sunday to do something they haven’t done since 2012: win a season opener. Yet again, they fell short.
It’s just Week 1, and the Redskins survived a season-opening loss and went on to make the playoffs only two years ago. Still, losing at home to a division rival can wind up being costly, especially in the evenly-matched NFC East.
“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” defensive lineman Terrell McClain said. “So we just have to look at each week and go 1-0. Hopefully we can by the time we get back to them.”
Still, most players had no explanation for the dissatisfying trend. Do they not practice physically enough during the preseason? Is there too much organizational turnover year to year, making communication challenging in the early weeks? No single diagnosis seems to fit, players say.
“I think we did all we could to be ready,” said quarterback Kirk Cousins.
“I don’t know what it is, like you said, five straight openers,” said linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. “We’ve got a talented team we just need to execute better.”
For his part, coach Jay Gruden didn’t think the Redskins were dealing with any first game jitters.
“I think you attribute sloppy offensive play to good defensive play,” Gruden said.
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