Saturday, January 28, 2012
Here's how NFC West teams can recover
By Mike Sando
It's only fair to expand our recent San Francisco 49ers discussion to the rest of the NFC West.
As noted previously, the 49ers led the NFL in turnover differential during their 13-3 season. The question then became whether a natural evening out in that department might drag down the team's record in 2012 without improvements in other areas, notably on offense.
The chart expands the turnover-differential information to show all NFC West teams.
The Rams' minus-seven figure in fumble recovery differential stands out as something likely to change in the team's favor for 2012. St. Louis recovered 13 of its own 27 fumbles, but only six of its opponents' 24, an unusually low rate that should improve.
The 49ers' offense recovered only 35.7 percent of its own fumbles (5 of 14), also a somewhat low figure.
Arizona's defense recovered a division-high 60 percent (9 of 15), but a minus-13 differential on interceptions hurt. I would expect Patrick Peterson to pick off a few more passes in 2012. Adrian Wilson missed a few chances this season.