True Turnovers from 2014-2016: Historic Results


The True Turnover statistic has had a great year. The #1 and #3 teams in True Turnover Differential are in the Super Bowl, and True Turnovers have been used to predict a 8-2 playoff record this postseason, with the only 2 “losses” being an Oakland team without their starting and backup quarterbacks and Dallas’s last second field goal loss to Green Bay. So, it is fair to say that True Turnovers have been very reliable in predicting results this postseason.


Let’s use this sample size to help us determine the following key topics that are heavily discussed: 1.) Were the 2015 Denver Broncos a fluke; and 2.) How should a team be built?


Note: This article will primarily be composed of charts and not a lot of commentary. All of the charts will be posted below for you to draw your own conclusions from and utilize them for your own arguments. I am simply going to briefly discuss key components of them. Apologies for chart size, but with the amount of information contained in them, the text size had to shrink in order to fit on the page. Please zoom in to see details. If requested, I can send you the charts via Twitter. Tweet @BobbySlisz for a request.


-If solely utilizing True Turnover Differential to predict playoff games from 2014-2016, you would be 21-11.


-The Bills were the number one ranked defense in True Turnovers Forced in 2014.


-Out of the 3 years of conference championships, only 2 teams (ranked 18 and 29) had a True Turnover Giveaway rank below 11th. Five of these same 12 teams (ranked 23, 23, 22, 27, and 21) had a True Turnovers Forced rank below 11th.


-53% of the top 10 TTO Forced teams made the playoffs, while 63% of the top 10 TTO Giveaways teams made the playoffs.


-If you take all 36 playoff teams from the past 3 seasons, 75% of the teams finished in the top 12 in TTO Differential. Of the teams who played in the divisional round, 79% were in the top 10. Of teams that played in the conference finals, 91.7% were in the top 9. The teams who competed in the Super Bowl were ranked 1st, 9th, 16th, 1st, 3rd, and 1st.

-The number 1 team in True Turnover Differential has made the Super Bowl in each of the past 3 seasons.


-In the past 3 seasons combined, no team ranked below 16th in True Turnover Differential has made it to the divisional round of the playoffs. Their combined record is 0-4 in the Wild Card round.


-There were 2 teams ranked 16th overall in TTO Differential that made it to the divisional round. One lost (Houston to NE in 2016), and one who won the Super Bowl (Denver in 2015).

-Only one team ranked outside of the top 9 in True Turnover Differential has made the conference finals. That team was the 2015 Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos.


These statistics demonstrate what an amazing fluke the 2015 season was for the Denver Broncos. They were the only team outside of the top 9 to make a conference championship in the last 3 seasons. They were a part of the 8.3% of teams to make the divisional playoffs being ranked below 9th in TTO Differential. While flukes happen from time to time, it is important to note that no team should be striving to be the exception to this rule.

These statistics also show that offensive TTO (giveaways) rank more closely correlates with playoff success than does defensive TTO (forced).

Specifically, the average TTO Giveaways rank of conference championship teams was 8.25, while the average TTO Forced rank of these same teams was 13.17. In other words, teams whose offenses were highly ranked in TTO were more likely to make the conference championship than teams whose defenses were highly ranked in TTO.

It seems fairly clear when utilizing True Turnovers that offensive efficiency is predictive of success. It follows that a team’s offense should be the primary area in which to focus a team’s effort and resources in order to build a successful team. Denver’s 2015 season was a fluke. Don’t be the exception; be the rule.