Quick, who is last in the league in turnover margin?
Detroit? Buffalo? San Francisco?
If you guessed the Raiders, you almost got it. They are tied for 24th. And it’s always a legitimate guess to place the Raiders as the worst in any category.
But how many of you guessed the Baltimore Ravens?
That’s right. The Ravens are officially minus-7 on the year in turnover differential. Dead last in the league.
And yet this is a team that is 3-1. So what do we make of this turnover stat?
Like a good politician, we can put our own spin on it. First, let’s go negative:
The Ravens are 3-1, despite being last in the league in turnover differential. That’s how good their defense has been. You get the ball from them, change the momentum, and you still can’t score points. They just shut you down like the Tim Tebow fan you hit on at last night’s party.
Now, we’ll spin this in a positive way:
Look, the Ravens clearly are prone to giving up the football. If the Broncos simply capitalize on the turnovers they are bound to get, they will put the Ravens in a big hole. And eventually the numbers will catch up to the Ravens. You can’t continue to give up the football and win games.
Which statement is more correct? Well, like everything in life, it depends on context. If we go back and look at the drive charts from each of the Ravens games, we can begin to put some flesh on the bones of these turnovers. First, it’s worth noting that the Ravens have actually turned the ball over eleven times, not nine, because they turned the ball over twice on downs. But let’s remove these for simplicity’s sake. Here are some facts about these nine turnovers:
1) On average, the opponent has received the ball on the Ravens’ 35-yard line after a Baltimore turnover.
2) Opponents have only scored nine total points off of turnovers against the Ravens defense.
3) Opponents have turned the ball back over to the Ravens (on fumbles and downs) on 3 out of these 9 opportunities.
So what does all of this tell you? Teams are getting good field position after taking the ball away from the Ravens, but they are making their own mistakes, and further, are having a horrible time of things in the red zone.
Uh-oh. Where have we heard about red-zone problems this year?
If the numbers hold up, Denver is going to have more chances in the red zone today.
But can they buck their own numbers in the red zone finally?
PREGAME MOTIVATIONAL LIMERICK
Wipe That Smirk Off Flacco’s Face, Dawkins!
Joe Flacco is nothing, you see
than a slow-footed boring QB.
Come on, from Delaware?
He’s not much of a scare.
He’s David Carr without that D.