The stat that guarantees victory in the NFL playoffs
While those studies have focused exclusively on the college game, the NFL playoffs have greatly exposed one truth that applies to every level of the game: turnovers.
Take a look at the NFL's turnovers committed rankings, and the top of the list is a laundry list of 2012 playoff teams: Washington, San Francisco, Baltimore, Green Bay, New England, Houston and Seattle comprise the top seven spots on the list. The four playoff squads that did not make this list: Minnesota, Denver, Cincinnati and Indianapolis, all went one-and-done.
In the actual playoff games, teams that win the turnover battle are a perfect 7-0 in 10 games to this point:
- Green Bay 24, Minnesota 10. Packers win, 3-0.
- Seattle 24, Washington 14. Seahawks win, 2-1.
- Houston 19, Cincinnati 13. Tied, 1-1.
- Baltimore 24, Indianapolis 9. Tied, 2-2.
- San Francisco 45, Green Bay 31. 49ers win, 2-1.
- Atlanta 30, Seattle 28. Tied, 2-2.
- Baltimore 38, Denver 35 (2 OT). Ravens win, 3-1.
- New England 41, Houston 28. Patriots win, 1-0.
- San Francisco 28, Atlanta 24. 49ers win, 2-1.
- Baltimore 28, New England 13. Ravens win, 3-0.
Collectively, those seven winners own the turnover margin, 16-3. In keeping with the trend from the regular season, the 10 winners have lost a sum of only eight turnovers.
While forcing turnovers is great, being selfish with the football is a sure-fire way to keep your season alive.