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Oct 6, 2008, 9:00 AM EDT

Comments Off on Zero

It’s truly amazing.

The Washington Redskins offense hasn’t turned the ball over in 2008.

Jason Campbell was a fumbling machine in 2007 and he threw 11 interceptions in 12 games. He has yet to put the ball on the ground and he just broke Joe Theismann’s record for consecutive pass attempts without an interception. He’s at 153 attempts and counting.

I’m struggling to think of a clear drop that an opposing defender has had two hands on a pass and pulled a Carlos Rogers, a single time where Campbell and company went back to the huddle thinking, whew, we got away with one there. If anybody has evidence of such a play, let me know.

Not only has Campbell not lost a fumble, he hasn’t put the ball on the ground. He’s been sacked and banged around a few times but he’s keeping the ball in his grasp.

There was a near fumble on an exchange between Campbell and Ladell Betts last week in Dallas. But that ball was free for just a fraction of a second before Campbell snagged it and ran for a few yards.

But a near fumble isn’t a fumble. The ball has yet to hit the ground. There hasn’t been a loose ball that has bounced out of bounds just beyond the grasp of a defender; there hasn’t been a scrum for the ball.

There has been absolutely zero luck involved in the Skins’ turnover-free ways.


  1. allen - Oct 6, 2008 at 1:09 PM

    It is great to see the Skins taking care of the ball. Most games are not won in the NFL, they are lost – usually due to turnovers. I am curious to know what the all-time low is for turnovers in a season. I think the best stat is turnover ratio. The Redskins are at plus 6, which is good. I remember back in the 80’s that the Skins had a ridiculous year when they were over 40 plus at the end of the year. What is a little troublesome is how we are perfect, and we are just squeaking out wins (no complaints here – I’ll take them every time). What is going to happen when the inevitable arises – 1, 2, or more turnovers in a game? Our defense does not create too many turnovers, either. We really don’t put that much pressure on the opposing QB’s to force the turnovers. I guess we’ll see – I’d like to think we can overcome multiple turnovers against most teams. Go Skins!

  2. Jeff - Oct 6, 2008 at 3:48 PM

    So here’s a question for you, Rich… What is it that causes a team to be prone to turnovers or not? We’ve had so many teams over the last decade that seemed to beat themselves with inevitable turnovers. Now, under Zorn, we have only one bad catch from ARE and nothing on offense. Is it Zorn? Is it his drills or the players’ response to his style? How does a QB go from what Campbell did last year to what Campbell is doing this year?

  3. Rich Tandler - Oct 7, 2008 at 2:07 AM

    Allen, it was the 1983 Redskins that had a +43 turnover ratio (I may be one or two off). At 14-2, they were one of the best teams ever that didn’t win the Super Bowl.

    Good question, Jeff. Zorn runs that drill where everyone throws tackling dummies at Campbell while he’s scanning the field so maybe that helps when he’s in the pocket. That doesn’t explain the other players not coughing up the ball or Campbell’s lack of INT’s. I’ll see what I can find out, although the players will be very reluctant to discuss it. It’s not so much superstition as an “if it ain’t broke don’t talk about it” frame of mind.

  4. Jeff - Oct 7, 2008 at 2:18 AM

    Understood. It’s just an interesting concept. CAN a coach fix it? Is it some kind of subconscious belief in what you’re doing that keeps your fingers tight on the ball? Is it a certain amount of rest and concentration? Probably all of the above.

    But the switch from fumblitis to sticky-fingers coinciding with the switch from Gibbs to Zorn can’t just be coincidence, can it? And if there IS something that helps prevent turnovers, we ought to bottle it and put the recipe in the Redskins vault for all time. Archives

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