Steeler Nation there has been a lot of talk about the Steelers disappointing 8-8 season of 2012 and what needs to change to make the 2013 season a success.. One major trend the Steelers need to change is their turn over ratio rating.
The Steelers ranked 24th in the league last season in the category of take away vs. giveaways with a -10. The defense only had a total of 10 interceptions for the season and only 10 total fumble recoveries . That’s a meager 20 total takeaways for the season . The defense ranked 27th in interceptions and 18th in fumble recoveries for the 2012 season
In comparison the Bears defense led the league with 24 interceptions for the season and the New England Patriots defense led the league with 21 fumble recoveries . So you can see that the Steelers defense was way below the standard on creating turnovers .
The Steelers offense turned the ball over 30 times in 2012 with 16 fumbles and 14 interceptions. That is 30 giveaways . The 14 interceptions was 13th in the NFL not real bad but not real good either. The Steelers offense fumbled away the ball 16 times. That ranked the Steelers 27th league wide. This stat must improve.
In comparison the Houston Texans offense had the least fumbles with a league low 4 for the season and the Washington Redskins offense had a league low 8 interceptions to lead the league in the least interceptions thrown .
The bottom line is this is the NFL and if you give away the ball more than you take it away you are not going to be a successful football team. There is a very thin line between winning and losing in the NFL . More times than not it’s the team that wins the turnover battle that comes out on top.
So how important is winning the turnover battle as it pertains to winning in the NFL?According to boston.com and Stats Driven’s David Sabino a study taken from a ten-year sample of games from 2002 to 2011 shows that assumed equally matched teams, forcing just one turnover more than the opposition boosts a team’s chances of victory 19 percent (50 to 69 percent). With a turnover margin of plus 2, a team’s chances of victory goes up to 84 percent, and at plus 3 or above, the odds of a win go up to a whopping 93 percent.
So Steeler Nation you see turnover ratio has a lot to do with winning or losing a closely matched game.
The problem is there is no cut in dry solution to assure getting more takeaways and less giveaways.. By all accounts the Steelers are trying to rectify the situation. When interviewed by Steelers.com Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau had this to say about how the defense needs to improve for the 2013 season…
Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau: “The first thing, the obvious thing, is we have to get more turnovers. We’ve had years that we’ve been real productive there, but the last couple we haven’t been. I wish I knew the answer to the why, but we’re searching for those answers and we’re working in that direction. We’ll keep stressing it. That’s the most obvious area. We have to help the offense shorten their field and maybe get some more points ourselves. You’ve got to get fumbles, sacks and interceptions to do that. We want to get [production] higher in that for sure.”
On thing is for sure the Steelers need play makers to step up! Hard hitting, pressuring the quarterback with more sacks , making interceptions when the opportunity arises and staying focused are key ingredients to winning the turnover battle. It’s a battle the Steelers have to win for a successful 2013 season.