The turnover battle is usually critical in dictating the winner of a football game. When the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins meet this Sunday, a single turnover could prove to be the mistake that costs one team the win and hands it to the other.
Through the first thirteen weeks of the season, the Ravens and Redskins find themselves tied for second in the NFL in giveaways with 11 (New England is on top with 9).
Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III has already set team records for a rookie QB in completions (218), passing yards (2,260), passing touchdowns (17), rushing yards (714, an NFL rookie record) and rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (six). However, one overlooked stat may be how few times he gives away the football.
This season, Griffin III has only thrown four interceptions and the mobile quarterback has fumbled just twice.
Today, I asked the phenom known as RG3 how he is able to minimize turnovers, especially in his rookie season where quarterbacks frequently struggle.
“It’s scheme. My guys are getting where they need to be and my check downs are getting where they need to go when they have to,” Griffin III said. “It’s just something that God has blessed me with. My whole career, I’ve never really turned the ball over that much.”
Then, Griffin III, the man who famously wears socks children in elementary school would wear, gave a very elementary answer.
“All I can say is there’s a fine line between playing fearless and being dumb, and I tip-toe that line pretty good.”
The Ravens defense will hope to goad Griffin III into one or two of those “dumb” plays on Sunday. If they are able to, they’ll need to take better advantage than they did last week. Against Pittsburgh, it appeared that the Ravens had secured the game’s crucial turnover, as Ed Reed intercepted Charlie Batch in the end zone in the fourth quarter.
However, just three plays later, the Steelers came up with an even more critical turnover, as linebacker James Harrison stripped Joe Flacco to give his team the ball right back in Ravens territory.
As we all know by now, the Steelers would go on to tie, and ultimately win, the game following that fumble.
Because of that particular turnover, the Ravens now find themselves in more of a “must-win” situation in Landover, against the rookie sensation quarterback, than they likely bargained for.