NFL Turnover Differential

We all know that turnover differential is closely associated with winning in the NFL. It is a quick and dirty way for anyone to get a feel for how well a particular team is really doing. The idea is that a teams turnover differential should reflect a teams record and if it doesn't then it normally means that a team is either lucky or unlucky. Generally it does a really good job but what if we could improve it.

If we redefine what a turnover is to "any switch in possession of the ball without the other team having scored points" then we get a broader view of how well a team is performing. The idea is that if a defense is so good that they force offenses to go 3 and out consistently then they will not have as many opportunities to create turnovers but will still be forcing the ball out the oppositions hands by forcing a punt.

The same can be said for a teams offense. If a offense is so poor that they do not run very many plays from scrimmage the will most likely give up the ball less via the traditional fumble and/or interception.

So for the sake of discussion on a slow week during which the RamsFans cant be bothered to discuss anything about the upcoming game I thought I would throw out the idea of Total Turnover Differential or TTD.

TTD is a very basic way of expounding on the traditonal turnover differential stat by adding a teams punt differential to it. Basically it is...

(Turnovers Against + Own Punts) - (Turnovers For + Opp Punts)

I understand that I am not taking into consideration failed forth down attempts or missed field goals but for the sake of my sanity and the health of my marriage i'll let someone else add those in if they want.

So without further ado I present the NFL standings in TTD.

  1. 49ers +34
  2. Packers +26
  3. Patriots +23
  4. Saints +18
  5. Ravens +17
  6. Texans +16
  7. Steelers +14
  8. Falcons +10
  9. Cowboys +10
  10. Dolphins +9
  11. Lions +8
  12. Chargers +5
  13. Eagles +5
  14. Bengals +5
  15. Bills +1
  16. Bears -1
  17. Jets -1
  18. Titans -2
  19. Giants -4
  20. Seahawks -6
  21. Jaguars -8
  22. Panthers -9
  23. Chiefs -10
  24. Redskins-10
  25. Browns -11
  26. Cardinals -13
  27. Raiders -13
  28. Vikings -14
  29. Broncos -19
  30. Bucs -22
  31. Colts -23
  32. Rams -26

Some interesting notes from the rankings:

Nearly the entire playoff field makes up the top of the leaderboard. With only the AFC West Division champion as the outlier. In fact the leaderboard goes nine straight playoff teams before it runs into a snag with the Dolphins.

Teams like the Saints (-4) and Steelers (-12) who are rated poorly due to the traditional method come out looking a lot better using TTD.

The 49ers are good.

The Rams are bad.

Basically thats all I got for now. I would love to see this idea fleshed out a little more by people smarter than myself but for now its late and my brain is fried.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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