October 15, 2014

Given how poorly the Washington Redskins have played, it's understandable that first-year coach Jay Gruden would mistakenly think his team's record is worse than it actually is.

Coming off their third straight double-digit defeat, the Redskins try to avoid a fifth consecutive loss Sunday against the visiting the Tennessee Titans.

During his Monday press conference, a tired-looking Gruden mistakenly stated Washington's record was 1-6, instead of 1-5.

"I'm losing track," he said.

It would seem to be an easy mistake to make. The Redskins have dropped 13 of 14 and allowed an average of 34.8 points in four games since a 41-10 victory over winless Jacksonville on Sept. 14.

''If I had one area, where I could say, `well, we need to improve right here,' I think we'd have a great understanding of what we need to do,'' Gruden said.

''But right now it's a little bit of everything. It's a little smorgasbord of things that we have to work on and improve on."

Gruden can start with an offense that committed all four of its turnovers in the fourth quarter of last Sunday's 30-20 loss at Arizona. Kirk Cousins was the main culprit with three interceptions, the last of which Rashad Johnson returned 28 yards for a TD with 18 seconds remaining.

Washington has committed 10 of its 13 giveaways in the last three games, and its minus-9 turnover margin is tied for worst in the league entering Week 7.

The Redskins have gone 6 for 30 on third downs the past three weeks, and are converting 32.4 percent in such situations on the season. Only Tennessee (2-4) at 31.9 is worse.

''I told our team this game is not that hard to figure out,'' Gruden said. ''The team that makes plays usually wins. The team that doesn't turn the ball over usually wins, the team that creates turnovers. We are not doing anything. It is a broken record every time I stand up (to the podium).''

With Robert Griffin III not likely to return from an ankle injury until at least early November, Gruden appears content to remain with Cousins, who has thrown all eight of his interceptions and four of his 10 touchdowns in the second half.

"I think it's trying to do too much, trying to force things," said Cousins, who has a 78.4 passer rating while going 1-7 as a starter in his three-year career.

The Redskins also need more from a rushing attack that ranks 23rd at 99.3 yards per game, as well as from Alfred Morris (64.3), who has not recorded a 100-yard effort in his last 13 contests.

Tennessee allowed an average of 154.3 rushing yards during a four-game skid that ended last Sunday when it gave up 82 to the Jaguars - the NFL's worst rushing team at 69.5 per game - in a 16-14 home victory.

''It felt like a long time,'' tight end Delanie Walker said. "It feels good. So, hopefully we can keep this going.''

While the Redskins remain frustrated, the Titans at least have a win to build on despite struggling with lowly Jacksonville.

Tennessee recorded 290 total yards, converted three of 11 third downs and needed three Ryan Succop field goals. Sammie Hill blocked Josh Scobee's 55-yard field-goal attempt with 12 seconds left to preserve the victory.

''It's nice to get a win, even though I would've preferred it not have been as close as it was," coach Ken Whisenhunt said.

"We've still got a lot of work to do, but we've made some progress."

The status of quarterback Jake Locker is uncertain as he continues to recovery from a thumb injury that kept him out last week.

"It's going to be a progression of where it goes from there, when he gets back out," Whisenhunt said. "It's coming. It's getting better."

Locker ranks near the bottom of the league in completion percentage (58.0) and passer rating (75.9) while throwing four touchdowns and four interceptions in four games this season.

Backup Charlie Whitehurst has completed 58.3 percent of his passes, but has thrown three TDs and one INT in three contests.

The Titans have won both trips to Washington since the franchise moved to Tennessee in 1997, but lost 19-16 in overtime in the most recent meeting Nov. 21, 2010.

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