Turnovers could turn the tables in Steelers vs. Chiefs

Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

The Chiefs appear to be more talented than a 1-7 team should look, but they can't stop turning the ball over.

Turnovers are the ultimate spread-destroyer.

An interception thrown off a quarterback's back foot in desperation pushes the score over cover range, causing anger and swear words galore.

They also help a 1-7 team keep pace on the road in prime time with a streaking 5-3 team. Usually, such a concept is used in relation to one team causing more turnovers.

In the Chiefs' case in their Monday Night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, it could be the lack of those turnovers that make the difference.

The Chiefs have a shockingly bad -20 turnover differential, and that, more than anything else, is the reason they haven't led in any game this season (a game-winning field goal in overtime gave the Chiefs their only win this season).

If they reduced those turnovers, and actually let their defense get a break, they'd be far more competitive. A team simply cannot contend giving the ball away 3.5 times a game.

In that regard, the Steelers should have the ability to force turnovers - something they don't usually do.

In fact, the Chiefs aren't much different than Pittsburgh in terms of takeaways. Both teams sag at the bottom of the AFC with nine (Chiefs) and eight (Steelers) takeaways. The Steelers only have given the ball away eight times, though, which the Chiefs have 29 turnovers - 14 picks and 15 fumbles.

Granted, the Chiefs are allowing an appalling 8.9 yards per passing attempt (Attempt) and their 30 points allowed a game (third lowest in the league) should be encouraging statistics for the Steelers, but it's not as if the Chiefs were setting the world on fire last season when they came to Heinz Field, and, with something called Tyler Palko under center, and battled the Steelers for all they were worth.

Not coincidentally, the Steelers sealed the game on a late-drive interception, one of four turnovers they had in the game.

The fact no team since 1929 ever went seven straight games without holding a lead in regulation until the 2012 Chiefs suggests the trend will reverse itself at some point. The fact they're on pace for a -58 turnover differential (going out on a limb to guess that would be a league record) seems a bit far from standard.

Chiefs fans may be hoping for trends to right themselves a little bit. Playing a team that doesn't take the ball away much may be what they need.


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