Every time analysis of a football game is brought up in conversation, the first thing you usually hear is about protecting the ball and the turnover battle. With the complexity of schemes and game plans, the safety of the football is becoming more crucial than ever.
While the efficiency of an offense is vital to the progression of a football team's success, so is the ability to disturb the flow of the opposing team's offense while defending. No team is as true to form in this regard as the New England Patriots.
As a team, the Patriots led the league in interceptions with 25 and were second in turnovers caused with 38 on the season. New England is led defensively by Devin McCourty and Jerod Mayo, who were accountable for 10 turnovers between them. Mayo was also the league leader in tackles this year.
Conversely, New England only turned the ball over 10 times the entire season. In fact, during a seven-game stretch the team did not turn the ball over once. Tom Brady is a focal point of this performance, as he threw a league-low four interceptions all year. Also, the Patriots' first 1,000-yard rusher since 2004, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, did not fumble the ball all season.
For those who are keeping track, New England forced 38 turnovers as a team while only giving 10 turnovers away this entire season. That is a nearly four-to-one ratio in the turnover battle.
Let's further investigate what makes the Patriots title contenders.