Home turnovers are bad but road giveaways are Nuclear Tsunamis

Question: Over the last six years how many road games were won by teams with a (-2)+ Turnover Margin ["TOM" >>two or more TO than the opponent]? Well I'll give you a hint, 1,328 regular season games were played over the last 6 years (256 * 5yrs + 48 this year). Here's another hint, only 48 games of 1,328 were won by the home team while fighting a (-2)+ "TOM." You see where I am going with this. The answer is: Away teams giving up a (-2)+ "TOM" won 27 times in 1,328 games for a whopping 2.03% winning percentage.

Now, what team is the only team this year to win a road game this year with a (-2)+ "TOM?"  I'll give you three guesses and don't worry I'll wait. Now if you guessed Pittsburgh you win the chicken dinner! This year only two games have been won with a (-2)+ "TOM." Denver is the only one to do it at home against the Bengals. Now notice something else? Yea, both Indy and Cincy are pretty bad teams if you are playing a good team and give up a (-2)+ "TOM" they will put you down and step on your neck.  So you could say we were somewhat lucky to come out of Indy with a win. Maybe it's karma or the the football gods evening out the bad luck we have absorbed on the  O-Line:) 

It is often said I would rather be lucky than good. This really doesn't apply to the Steelers totally because at the end of the day, when we needed it most our play makers stepped up big. With that said, if we have a (-2)+ "TOM" at Houston we will almost certainly lose. The numbers just don't lie, the odds of the Steelers or any other team pulling off two road wins with a (-2)+ "TOM" is pretty much zero. I'd bet big money that it didn't happen in the last five years because only 27 games in total had this outcome and this means that if you take out our Indy win the five year sample size is 26.

[Note by kk99, 09/28/11 11:15 AM PDT ] Well once again I am proven wrong, On December 26th, 2006 Steelers had a road win with a (-2)+ "TOM" against Cininnati so I add the following table with all these -2 TO margin road wins. It is very interesting if you think about it, notice in 2007 that the NY Giants had 3 road wins with a (-2)+ "TOM". I mean statistically that is a huge aberration BUT it shows you how they were a team of destiny. Remember during the 207-2008 season the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl and they needed these three wins to get into the playoffs. I wonder how many of these teams made the playoffs? Too much work for me, I need to work more on gambling odds:)

But anyway, you see that these numbers do not lie. It also makes sense that both Pittsburgh and NY Giants have achieved the (-2)+ "TOM" more than once. Both teams have a defensive tradition and especially the Giants appear very inconsistent to me. The data supports this thesis. A total of five teams have won on the road with a (-2)+ "TOM" in the last 6 years. NY Giants have done it a total of 4 times. That means that only 19 separate teams have won a (-2)+ "TOM" road win. 


Away wins 2006-Present with -2 TO margin

Chicago Bears 16-Oct 2006
Cleveland Browns 31-Oct 2006
Pittsburgh Steelers 31-Dec 2006
Tennessee Titans 10-Dec 2006

New York Giants 23-Sep 2007
Dallas Cowboys 08-Oct 2007
New York Giants 15-Oct 2007
New York Giants 2-Dec 2007

Atlanta Falcons 30-Nov 2008
Houston Texans 07-Dec 2008
Minnesota Vikings 07-Dec 2008
San Francisco 49ers 21-Dec 2008
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21-Sep 2008
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 02-Nov 2008

Dallas Cowboys 11-Oct 2009
Minnesota Vikings 01-Nov 2009
New Orleans Saints 15-Nov 2009
Philadelphia Eagles 22-Nov 2009
Miami Dolphins 13-Dec 2009
Cleveland Browns 20-Dec 2009
Oakland Raiders 20-Dec 2009

Baltimore Ravens 13-Sep 2010
Jacksonville Jaguars 10-Oct 2010
New York Giants 25-Oct 2010
New York Jets 7-Nov 2010
Indianapolis Colts 26-Dec 2010

Pittsburgh Steelers 25-Sep 2011

[Note by kk99, 10/13/11 5:01 AM PDT ] The above list is sobering because it shows how rare an away win is with a (-2)+ "TOM" but what about (-3)+ "TOM" on the road? Well of the above 27 teams, 11 won with a (-3)+ "TOM." This is an exceptionally rare occurrence like seeing the Sasquatch and the Lock Ness Monster riding together on a UFO while you get struck by lightning. It just doesn't happen, now that 1,405 games have been played over the last 6 years 11 of 1,405. With a (-3)+ "TOM" home teams have won 13 times in 1,405 games and disregarding Home or Away 24 teams have won with a  (-3)+ "TOM" which is exactly 1.71% of wins were accomplished with a  (-3)+ "TOM." Finally, with a (-4)+ "TOM six teams have won out to the last 1,405 games, that's like winning the lottery twice in one day.


In the NFL there is a lot of parity and that is why you see statistics like this, yea we had more yards and better offense than Indy but all that means shit if have a (-2)+ "TOM". And when you are on the road, you don't even need to worry about turnover margin, if you turn it over two or more times you have a 13.11% chance of winning (average for 1,328 games). Think I am bullshitting and making it up? Take a look at the graph below and you will see my data is correct, I scrubbed it myself:) [note: If you click on the graph below it will open up a separate web browser for]. 




The thing that makes the NFL so great is the parity but that also means that no team has a lock on the Super Bowl. You need some luck, Packers had it last year with 15 on IR but no need to worry because no cap. We have injuries and IR but all those count against the cap so we not only have to deal with injuries but simultaneously deal with the Salary Cap.

There is something to say about pulling a win out of terrible situation in Indy, good teams find a way to do it while marginal teams lay down. The NFL is so competitive that the Indy win may be the difference between making the playoffs or winning the division. 

So far this year we have 10 turnovers on the road and zero at home, I am stating the obvious but if we turnover the ball twice against Houston we are likely to come out with a loss. Let's hope our first two road games have been statistical aberrations and we avoid road games with more than one turnover. It's very possible, the difference between success and failure is so slim in the NFL anything is possible. Bottom line you cannot beat yourself by giving up the ball on the road. 


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