Patriots have become masters of the turnover battle
- By Dan Hanzus
- Around the League Writer
- Published: Dec. 1, 2012 at 08:15 p.m.
- Updated: Dec. 2, 2012 at 12:15 a.m.
As the calendar turns over to its final month, we find ourselves squarely in the New England Patriots' hot zone.
Since 2010, the Patriots are 19-0 in the last eight games of the season, averaging 412.8 yards per game. In that same span, the Patriots have a turnover differential of +51. That's just silly.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick spoke this week about the team's emphasis on creating turnovers.
"We work on stripping the ball every day, recovering them every day," Belichick said, via NFL.com's Jeff Darlington. "We talk about opportunities to get the ball out as we watch film. It's no different than the way it's been -- we've done that since I was with the Giants. It's part of your defense."
Darlington spoke to running back Danny Woodhead about that amazing turnover differential: Five giveaways and 56 takeaways in 19 games, all victories. Woodhead was unaware of the stat when Darlington told him.
"It's not something we're looking back on," Woodhead said. "It's not something I'm thinking about. We're thinking about the Miami Dolphins. That's the approach we're always taking, whether we're playing in September or December. We're trying to execute that game plan. That's really what it comes down to. We're trying to execute what the coaches call."
It's an archetypal Patriots answer that will excite no one. But when you're +51, you can say whatever you want.