2011 San Francisco 49ers: All About The Turnovers

The San Francisco 49ers head into Sunday's game against the Rams with an opportunity to lock up the number two seed in the NFC. Aside from that, the 49ers have a chance to wrap up some impressive marks as it relates to their turnover statistics.

As it currently stands, the 49ers +26 turnover ratio differential is tied for third with the 1990 Kansas City Chiefs. They are two takeaways behind the 2010 New England Patriots for second. Unfortunately, they would need the greatest takeaway performance ever to catch the 1983 Washington Redskins for the highest turnover differential since 1970. Those Redskins had a differential of +43! As someone tweeted to Eric Branch, the Redskins were apparently playing J.T. O'Sullivan every week that season.

On the other side of the differential, if the 49ers offense has zero turnovers on Sunday, they will match the 2010 New England Patriots for fewest turnovers since 1941. At the QB position, if Alex Smith (and Colin Kaepernick if he gets in the game) does not throw an interception on Sunday, the 49ers will tie a record held by five teams for fewest interceptions in a season. Alex Smith has five interceptions on the season.

While the offense has brought a certain conservative nature to it, that is still an impressive total. In previous season, aside from his shortened 2007 season, Smith has never thrown fewer than ten interceptions in a season. Considering Smith is going to start 16 games for only the second time in his NFL career, that's pretty solid.

Speaking of that, I didn't realize until a couple weeks ago he was on pace for only his second full season of football. Smith started 16 games in 2006 and after moving into the starting lineup midway through his rookie season. Since 2006, he started seven games in 2007, no games in 2008 and then 11 games each in 2009 and 2010.

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