Redskins own fourth-best turnover differential in NFL


Mike Shanahan’s Redskins have done a better job of taking care of the ball and forcing more turnovers. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

When the Redskins entered the season, coaches on both sides of the ball stressed to players a need to take care of the ball on offense and force more turnovers on defense.

Now 11 games into the season, the Redskins have done just that, and rank among the best in the league with a turnover differential of +12.

New England owns the best differential of +24 with only eight turnovers on offense, and 32 takeaways on defense. Chicago and the New York Giants both own a differential of +13, and the Redskins and Baltimore Ravens are tied for fourth.

The Redskins have 10 turnovers on offense (four fumbles and six interceptions) and for all their defensive struggles, have forced 22 takeaways (14 interceptions and eight fumbles).

Last season, Washington ranked among the worst in the league in both categories with 35 turnovers on offense (24 interceptions and 11 fumbles lost) and 21 takeaways. The Redskins’ defense already this season has surpassed last year’s total of 13 interceptions and eight forced fumbles.

The ball security on offense has helped the Redskins produce the seventh-most yards in the league (4,234) and seventh-most points in the NFL (26.8 per game).

However, the increased takeaway total hasn’t translated into a stingy defense for Washington. The Redskins rank 28th in the league yards allowed (4,296) and 31st against the pass (3,315 yards yielded). Washington also has allowed eighth-most points in the league, surrendering 25.9 per game.

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.

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Mike Jones · November 28, 2012