The Redskins may lose Sunday’s playoff game against the Seahawks but it is unlikely that they will beat themselves. That is because very few teams in NFL history have been better at protecting the ball than the 2012 Redskins.
In 16 games, the Redskins turned the ball over 14 times. The team’s PR staff noted that this was the fewest in team history, beating the previous low of 16 from the 1982 season, which was shortened to nine games by a player strike.
But the turnover stat is even more impressive than that. Since 1940, only five teams have turned the ball over fewer times during a season than the Redskins did this year. That includes season that had from nine to 14 games in them. Only the 2010 Patriots, 2011 49ers (10 each), 1982 Chiefs (12 in nine games), 2008 Giants and 2008 Dolphins (13 each) have held on to the ball better.
Six other teams also got through a full season with only 14 turnovers.
Rookie quarterbacks took all of the snaps for the Redskins this year with Robert Griffin III starting 15 games and Kirk Cousins starting one game and playing in two others. None of the other teams that have turned the ball over 14 or fewer times in a season had a rookie quarterback playing a substantial role.