The Washington Redskins struggled both maintaining possession and generating takeaways. The result was an NFL seventh-worst minus-8 turnover differential, and frankly, it was a team effort. Alfred Morris managed to tie the NFL worst with five fumbles on the season. Robert Griffin III totaled interceptions 12 interceptions in 13 games in 2013, which would be fine except that he managed only five in 15 games in 2012.
The defense didn’t do their share in getting the ball back, intercepting 16 passes and forcing nine fumbles – which resulted in a mediocre 2.4 percent turnover rate.
The Washington Post’s Neil Greenberg broke down Peirre Garcon’s poor numbers in regards to turnovers.
Of the eight interceptions thrown his way:
- Four were on passes less than nine yards
- Five were on first down
- Five were in the second half
- All were when the team trailed
- All but one occurred with the team down by a touchdown or more
So how important is the turnover ratio? Ask a playoff coach.
“I always talk about if you’re plus-one, plus-two, plus-three, what your winning percentage is,” Colts Coach Chuck Pagano said of turnover margin. “It’s, other than the score, it’s the second-most tell on wins and losses, is turnover margin.”
If the Redskins want to change their record significantly – which, at 3-13, they certainly do – then they can’t start with their turnover differential. They will need to find better ways to get the football in their offenses hands and keep it there. Jay Gruden, who helped the Bengals to a plus-1 ratio, will likely harp upon that principle. The importance is paramount.