Takeaways have led to 49 points so far
ASHBURN -- Sometimes it's a forced play: The Redskins' Perry Riley shoves the running back deeper into the backfield, where he brushes up against the quarterback's arm and the ball pops free. Lorenzo Alexander is there to grab it and run.
Other times it's not. Madieu Williams drops into his zone and waits for the quarterback to make a throw. The quarterback isn't under duress; he just doesn't move his feet or turn his shoulders to the target. Williams goes to his knees, catches the overthrow and takes off running.
When it comes to the Redskins and turnovers, they're doing a good job of being in the right spot. They're also doing a good job of forcing the action. And it's why they're tied for fourth in turnovers forced and tied for third in turnover differential. The Redskins' defense has enough issues to cause concern. But they've forced turnovers, scored four defensive touchdowns and created numerous opportunities for the offense. The Redskins already have scored 49 points off turnovers this season, which is six more than in 2011.
"The teams that win are teams that are good in the turnover area," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said.
Washington's defense ranks 27th in the NFL in yards allowed and 26th in points allowed. The problem: Of the Redskins' last 10 games, seven come against offenses currently ranked in the top 11. Stopping them will be difficult.
The pass rush is inconsistent. The secondary struggles at times. So it's tough to sustain those numbers and win, though with an explosive offense it's possible. When New Orleans won the Super Bowl after the 2009 season, its defense ranked 25th in yards and 20th in points. But the Saints caused 39 turnovers, making up for their shortcomings.