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Redskins vs Rams 2nd quarter

Redskins vs Rams 2nd quarter

12:32—

11:15—The offense is moving a bit more fitfully here, but after a nice Betts run and a Randle El reception the Redskins are near midfield. The Rams have been blitzing Ricky Manning to good effect.

10:06—We have our first Zorn moment here as the Redskins will go for it on fourth and one just inside the St. Louis 40. It certainly seems to be a good gamble, as long as he makes it.

9:46—And he does make it by the nose of the football. Was just kidding about the "as long as he makes it" part, it was the way to go.

9:00—I have a drop by Moss and two by Randle El so far. And a second turnover for the Washington offense. Campbell tried to scoop up an errant shotgun snap as it was rolling on the ground instead of falling on it. Contrast that to last week when he took a knee when a play went awry, keeping the Redskins in field goal range for their initial score. Fortunately, the defense is fairly stout so far.

7:34—The defense forced a three and out after the turnover, which is what a good defense does. It's important that the Redskins have turned the ball over twice but the Rams have one first down and zero points after the giveaways.

7:00—The St. Louis defense isn't playing too badly either. They're not jump-up-and-down fired up, but they're playing hard and with good intensity and the unit is keeping the Rams in the game. And we know that the longer you let an underdog hang around. . .

3:59—The Redskins still are unable to sustain anything offensively. This drive fizzled after a 19-yard Campbell scramble on third down seemed to provide a spark. After a five-yard false start on third down, a pass to Betts was three yards shy of the first. It's two steps forward, one step back it it remains a competitive game.

1:08—Jason Fabini is now the Redskins left tackle as Samuels has left with a knee injury. It didn't appear to be very serious, but anything that puts him out of a game, even for a brief period of time, is of concern.

0:26—Chris Cooley just made up for his fumble and his false start penalty with a whale of a catch. It would have been a great over the shoulder job had nobody been near him, but he took a blast from the safety and still held on.

0:09—Unblieveable. Kendall catches a batted pass and tries to make something out of it. He fumbles and the Rams pick it up and go 75 yards for a score. The Redskins will trail going into halftime.

Atogwe 75 fumble return (Brown kick)
Rams 10, Redskins 7

I know it was just instinct, but Kendall had no business catching that ball. The clock would have kept running and the Redskins would have had to spike it and bring on the field goal team. I'm sure next time he'll bat it down.

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Poll: How many more wins for the Redskins?

Poll: How many more wins for the Redskins?

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Fumbles not bouncing the Redskins' way this year

Fumbles not bouncing the Redskins' way this year

As Kirk Cousins likes to say, each season is its own entity. Sometimes things that went well for you in one 16-game stretch in one year won’t got well during a 16-game stretch in subsequent years. And that is the case with the Redskins and recovering opponents’ fumbles.

In 2015 the Redskins were scooping up loose balls all over the place. Opponents put it on the carpet 36 times and the Redskins recovered a league-leading 16 of them. Doing the math, they recovered the ball 44.4 percent of the time.

This year, with the same defensive coordinator and many of the same players on defense, it’s a different story. Through 12 games, the Redskins have forced 18 fumbles and recovered seven. Projecting it out over a 16-game season, they are on pace to force 24 fumbles and recover 9, a 37.5 percent recovery rate.

However, the decrease in the rate of fumble recoveries has not hurt the Redskins as much as you might think. This year they are on pace score about as many points after fumbles as they did last year.

In 2015 they started the average drive following a fumble recovery at their own 46. They drove for two touchdowns and three field goals. The Redskins returned one fumble for a touchdown so they got a total of 30 points off of fumbles.

This year they started at their own 36 on average and they have scored two touchdowns and two field goals on drives and they have no fumble returns for touchdowns. With 20 points through 12 games, they are on pace to score 27 points because of recovering fumbles.

One thing that must be noted here is that the effect of recovering fumbles goes beyond just scoring points after doing so. Even if the offense goes three and out after a fumble recovery the other team’s drive got stopped and after the punt field position gets flipped.

Also, timing is everything. The fumble that went out of the end zone following the Ravens’ interception in Week 5 saved seven points in a six-point Redskins win. Josh Norman’s forced fumble in the fourth quarter against the Packers didn’t have quite the same impact as the one in the Ravens game but it did help them wrap up an important win.

And we are looking at a small sample size so the projections could change in a major way. If the Redskins recover two fumbles on Sunday and turn them into 10 points they would be closer to last year’s pace for recoveries and ahead of 2015 for points off of fumble recoveries.

In any case, that the Redskins are recovering fewer fumbles this year than last should not be surprising. As the stat guys like to say, fumble recoveries aren’t “sticky” from year to year. Teams that recover a lot of fumbles one year don’t tend to repeat it year after year. There is a lot of luck involved; nowhere is the bounce of the oblong ball more decisive than when hits the ground.