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Fact or Fiction: What will the Redskins' turnover and sack production be?

A little game of over/under.

In the next edition of fact or fiction, the Breaking Burgundy team addresses the following statement: the Washington Redskins defense will have 40 sacks and 25 turnovers.

We know that Greg Manusky has taken over for Joe Barry and the defense has new faces in Jonathan AllenRyan AndersonZach BrownD.J. Swearinger, and others, but will that actually make a difference in the number of disruptive plays the Redskins end up with this season? The Breaking Burgundy crew weighs in.

For reference, here are their numbers for the past five years:

  • 2016: 38 sacks and 21 turnovers
  • 2015: 38 sacks and 26 turnovers
  • 2014: 36 sacks and 21 turnovers
  • 2013: 36 sacks and 28 turnovers
  • 2012: 32 sacks and 33 turnovers

Neil Dalal

Should this happen, either the Redskins will have had an extreme case of bend but don't break defense or they will have simply had one of the better defenses in recent team history. With the likes of Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Junior Galette, Trent Murphy (following a four-game suspension), and Ryan Anderson, the first feat of two-and-a-half sacks per game seems feasible given at least two of those five could easily reach double-figures. The other task of forcing over 1.5 turnovers a game seems more difficult even though they have done it thrice in the past five years, while never reaching 40 sacks. With Josh Norman playing more off coverage, theoretically, to make more plays on the football, he could have six interceptions to get a quarter of the way there. The odds may be against the team hitting these marks, but I'll roll the dice. Fact.

Jamual Forrest

Even though they’ve come very close over the past 5 years, 40 sacks and 25 turnovers for the Redskins defense is asking a lot of this group. They’ve topped 25 turnovers in 3 of the 5 years, but never gotten higher than 38 sacks in that time span. Trent Murphy will miss the first four games due to suspension, the edge rusher surprisingly produced 9 sacks for the team last season and was the second-best pass rusher behind Ryan Kerrigan. With a “wait-and-see” approach with Preston Smith and Junior Galette, it’s hard to see this front 7 as a whole being disruptive enough to produce at least 40 sacks. I do think the Redskins will be able to produce turnovers more consistently, which doesn’t necessarily mean they top 25 this year, but get turnovers in more games (7 games without a turnover forced). I go fiction but if I’m wrong, it’s not necessarily a bad thing here.

Jacob Troxell

For a team that finished 28th in total defense last season, the Redskins are at least moving in the right direction. Their first three draft picks were used on defense, each at positions in need of depth (DT, LB, CB). 

Of the three projected starters on Washington's defensive line, none played for the Redskins last season. And while D.J. Swearinger and Su'a Cravens look like upgrades at the safety position, they did not play the position for the Redskins last year either. 

With so many moving parts on Washington's defensive, it's hard to say they will be able to both be able to put pressure on the quarterback and convert that into turnovers. One of the two will not happen. Fiction. 

Stay tuned for more discussions from the Breaking Burgundy staff.

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