No turnovers: 75-80% chance of victory in the NFL

Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsbrgh Steelers d...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Last week I posted an article that noted the chances of winning an NFL game where a team commits four or more turnovers was about 20 percent. Let’s take a look at the other end of the turnover spectrum… no turnovers in a contest.

Last week’s games featured 10 teams that did not commit a turnover. Those teams were 8-2 (the two teams that lost even though they did not commit a turnover were Miami and Detroit). That 80% winning percentage last week is pretty close to what we’ve seen since 2010. In the last three-plus years of NFL play, teams with no turnovers in a game have won 298, lost 79 and tied once. That’s a .790 winning percentage.

Since 2010, the New England Patriots have played the most turnover-less games, 27. The San Francisco 49ers are the only other team with 20 or more such games; they have played in 21 turnover-less games in the last three-plus seasons. At the bottom of the scale are the Arizona Cardinals who have had no turnovers in only five of their last 54 games.

Following are the number of games since 2010 that each NFL team has played without committing a turnover (the team’s record in those games is also noted).

Team, Turnover-less games (Record)
New England, 27 (25-2)
San Francisco, 21 (19-1-1)
Atlanta, 16 (15-1)
Baltimore, 16 (15-1)
Houston, 16 (15-1)
Kansas City, 16 (11-5)
Tennessee, 16 (12-4)
Green Bay, 15 (13-2)
Tampa Bay, 15 (9-6)
Detroit, 12 (8-4)
Indianapolis, 12 (11-1)
New Orleans, 12 (11-1)
Cincinnati, 11 (9-2)
New York Giants, 11 (9-2)
Pittsburgh, 11 (10-1)
San Diego, 11 (9-2)
Seattle, 11 (8-3)
Cleveland, 10 (6-4)
Dallas, 10 (7-3)
Minnesota, 10 (7-3)
Philadelphia, 10 (7-3)
Carolina, 9 (8-1)
Jacksonville, 9 (5-4)
Miami, 9 (7-2)
New York Jets, 9 (8-1)
St. Louis, 9 (5-4)
Buffalo, 8 (3-5)
Chicago, 8 (5-3)
Oakland, 8 (5-3)
Washington, 8 (5-3)
Denver, 7 (7-0)
Arizona, 5 (4-1)

Note: there have been 35 times this season that a team has gone without a turnover in a game. Teams are 26-9 in those games, a .743 winning percentage.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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