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Team Staying United On Offense, Defense

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After making overtures of top-10 status in 2012, the Redskins' defense has gotten off to an shaky start to the season, ranked 30th in total yards and 29th in scoring.

Part of this can be attributed to injuries, as three of the projected opening day starters have been sidelined by injury, with Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker finished for the season.

As the defense awaits the return of key players Cedric Griffin and Brandon Meriweather, the rest of the unit knows that dramatic improvement is necessary.

"Frustration--that's probably the best word to sum it up," said cornerback DeAngelo Hall.  "You've got to be better, and there ain't no secret about that."

While the Redskins defense given up 101 points through the first three games, the offense is one of the best in the NFL, averaging an NFL-leading 33 points per game.

The combination of the two has led to three shootouts to open the season, with big plays on both sides of the ball.  Last week against Cincinnati, the Redskins defense yielded 20-plus yard receptions to five different Bengals receivers.

"You can't win when you give up big plays like that," Hall lamented.  "Last year, we would argue amongst each other to get 14 points, 10 points--21 points was a great day. 

"To see this offense go out and put up the kind of points that they've put up, and have the defense go out and totally drop the ball has definitely been frustrating for us."

Despite challenges in keeping tjhe lead, the offense refused to place blame on the defense, focusing on team effort in wins and losses.

"It didn't go the way we wanted it to, but I still feel like we, offensively, could've done more," said tight end Fred Davis. "I feel like there were a lot of opportunities, and we left a lot of points out there."

"I don't really count that against the defense. They worked hard, and it was a tough loss."

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III emphasized solidarity after Sunday's loss, focusing instead on how the team would respond against the Buccaneers in Week 4.

"It's not one guy's fault.; it's all of us," he said.  "We need to make sure we come out better than that. For us, it is about responding. Now what are we going to do when we have two straight losses?

"We are going to respond, and I promise that."

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