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Breaking down NFL turnover differentials

11/23/2010

Football coaches everywhere stress turnover avoidance.

The Seattle Seahawks' Pete Carroll sets aside one day each week to emphasize that one critical area.

The San Francisco 49ers' Mike Singletary lists "total ball security" first among five priorities each week.

Some turnovers are unavoidable. They just happen.

The correlation between turnovers and game outcomes is difficult to ignore, however.

The Arizona Cardinals have a 23-2 record when winning the turnover battle under coach Ken Whisenhunt (as opposed to 3-25 when playing at a turnover deficit).

The chart, based on data from ESPN Stats & Information, shows where NFL teams rank in forcing turnovers.

For example, the Philadelphia Eagles have collected 15 more interceptions than they have surrendered. They have lost as many fumbles as they have recovered from the other team. The result is a plus-15 turnover differential.

2010 NFL Turnover Differential: Weeks 1-11