WANT TO WIN FOOTBALL GAMES, DON'T TURN THE BALL OVER!!
June 30, 2012Eastern Indiana Sports
TURNOVERS IN SPORTS REALLY DO MATTER! Troy Derengowski, EIHSS Sports
As a former basketball coach I always knew the importance of not turning the ball over. I understood but I wasn’t always sure if my teams did. In fact, I got the idea from them they thought I was crazy when we preached turnovers every practice. Little did they know how much turnovers caused us to lose games and we lost a lot! Remember every turnover gives the opponent another possession and another chance to score and takes away our chance to score So let’s look at turnovers in a larger scale…the NFL.
Turnovers will have a big impact on this season. Those turnovers will also lead to many misleading scores. If you look at the records last season, look at the turnover rate for teams that actually turned its season around. Teams that have good fortune one season generally have a poor season when they have a negative ratio in turnovers the next season. Plus double digit turnovers usually equal a good season.
Here are some examples of teams that were plus double-digit turnovers one year and saw their records fall the next season. In 1997 the Kansas City Chiefs outgained their opponents by only 19 yards per game but still finished the season 13-3. In 2001 Pittsburgh finished 13-3 and outgained their opponents by over 100 yards per contest. Kansas City was successful because they were plus 12 in TO’s. The next season the Chiefs were only plus 1 and fell to 7-9.
The 1998 Falcons went to the Super Bowl with a 14-2 regular season record. Atlanta was plus 20 in turnovers. The next season the Falcons were a minus 17 and fell to 5-11. The Bears in 2001 were well below average statistically on both offense and defense. They were a plus 13 in the turnover department and finished 13-3. The next season they were a minus 7 and went 4-12. Getting the idea?
In 2003, six teams made the list including Super Bowl contestants Tampa and Oakland, both missed the playoffs and had losing records in 2004. Joining Tampa and Oakland were Kansas City, Tennessee and the 49ers. They went a combined 32-16 in 2003 and 14-34 in 2004. The reason was simple, turnovers!
Miami was another example in 2008. The Dolphins were number one with a +17 turnover rate and finished 11-5. The next season Miami went 7-9. So there you have proof that turnovers will and do make a difference.
It does go the other was as well. In 1996 the Jets were a minus 20 and won just one game. Bill Parcells steps in and the Jets were a +3 and finished 9-7. In 2006 New Orleans was coming off a 3-13 season and finished at -24 in turnovers. The next season the Saints were a +7 and finished 10-6. You can include the 2006 Packers, the 2007 Ravens, the 2009 Rams, 2009 Lions, 2009 Oakland and Cleveland in the same season.
Now there are exceptions to the rule. For example, the Dolphins and Jaguars both saw their records drop from 2010 and Buffalo improved by 2.
Look at the success of last years’ NFL teams. San Francisco was +28, Green Bay +24, New England +17 and Detroit +11. All won and made the playoffs. Tampa Bay was -16, Washington -14, Philadelphia -14, Arizona -13, Indianapolis -13. All were losers and missed the playoffs. Two exceptions were Pittsburgh was -13 and Denver was -12 as both made the playoffs.
The plan is simple: if you want your team to make the playoffs this season, make sure they hold onto the football.