NFC West: Facebook

What to make of Rams' run on turnovers

September, 5, 2009
9/05/09
1:02
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Brian writes via Facebook: Takeaways,takeaways, takeaways. Rams have 12 in 4 preseason games. They have also shown the ability to tighten up in the red zone on D. Spags' imprint is definitely wearing off on this team.

Mike Sando: The Rams forced one turnover during the 2008 preseason and only two the year before. They have 12 this preseason, including seven fumble recoveries. What does it mean? Well ...

The number of turnovers forced per game did not correlate from preseason to regular season in 2008. The statistical correlation produced a negative number (minus-.114). The more mathematical people in the community here can put that in perspective, but the greatest possible correlation is 1.0.

The Rams forced one turnover in four preseason games last season. They forced 1.6 turnovers per game during the regular season. The difference of nearly 1.4 turnovers per game from preseason to regular season marked the second-widest absolute disparity in the league. An unusual preseason total appeared untrustworthy as an indicator for the regular season.

The Chargers forced a league-high 12 turnovers during the 2008 preseason, or three per game. Their 16-game regular-season total was just 24, 17th in the league and 1.5 fewer per game than in preseason.

Twelve of the 15 top turnover-forcing teams in the 2008 preseason saw their turnovers per game decline during the regular season. None of the 15 experienced significant improvements. None of the top five turnover-forcing teams during the 2008 preseason ranked higher than 17th in that category during the regular season. However, two of the teams ranked sixth through eighth ranked among the top five, with Baltimore first and the Jets fifth. Both teams were simply better on defense than the Rams.

The Rams' preseason thievery might not mean much, in other words.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Seahawks defensive tackle Craig Terrill is heading for the Lake Washington waterfront with ice cream on his mind. Teammate Walter Jones plans to catch a couple of movies this weekend. Rams running back Steven Jackson caught a plane for Chicago on Friday afternoon.

These are the little slices of everyday life NFC West players are sharing with anyone who wants to follow them on Twitter. The 49ers just established their own official feed at SF_49ers. The Seahawks have their official account at seahawksSpin. The Cardinals' Web reporter, Darren Urban, shares thoughts and story links at Cardschatter. Update: Urban confirms that Larry Fitzgerald is at Lfitzgerald11.

Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck -- MatthewHass008 -- has become a trusted source for verifying teammates' accounts. Receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh is not on Twitter at this time, so don't fall for any of the accounts purporting to represent him, Hasselbeck has warned. The same goes for 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree, according to the 49ers.

The Rams' Jackson is at sj39. I haven't confirmed any other accounts associated with Rams players. Several 49ers players have accounts -- those purporting to be from Nate Clements and Vernon Davis seem legitimate -- but I haven't validated them yet.

Thanks to Hasselbeck, I can confirm the following Seahawks-related accounts as legit:

Our NFC West Twitter account is at espn_nfcwest. We have similarly named accounts for the other divisions. NFC West followers receive headlines and links for every blog entry, plus occasional breaks on stories and future entries. The experience on my Facebook page is more personal and includes everything appearing on Twitter, plus discussions stemming from blog entries -- and occasional personal updates from me.

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