- Jul 8, 2000
- Reaction score
We're about three quarters of the way through the 2016 regular season, and that's the time each year when I like to take a closer look at Toxic Differential. As I've written about in the past, this is a synthesis stat that combines a team's turnover differential with its explosive-play differential (explosive plays defined as gains of 20-plus yards). As always, it further underscores the significance of turnovers and big plays in the outcomes of most NFL games, as well as the relationship between turnovers and big plays.
In short: Basic, conservative offenses that protect the ball and try to win the time of possession battle rarely turn the ball over a lot, but they also don't pile up many explosive plays. Meanwhile, high-powered passing offenses that generate lots of explosive plays are also prone to more turnovers. Conversely, gambling defenses that blitz a great deal might generate more turnovers, but they almost always give up more explosive plays. And vice versa.
The teams that can manage their turnover differential while accentuating an advantage in explosive plays -- or, conversely, manage their explosive plays yielded while accentuating an advantage in turnover differential -- usually fare very well. And at the end of most seasons, the best teams typically can be found in the top half of the ToxDiff standings.
There are a few outliers each year, but the Toxic Differential stat is still a worthwhile prism to hold up to light, in separating the contenders from the pretenders, and in identifying exactly where teams need to improve down the stretch.
Toxic Differential: Good sign for Falcons, bad omen for Giants - NFL.com
I heard about this this morning. Apparently this ranking system pretty much nails it by the end of the year - accurately predicting at least 9-10 of the playoff teams.
This metric, with us being #3, shows just how good of a team we've been. This may be the best 5-6 team I have ever seen. It's a shame we had our struggles on stopping blocked kicks along with the bogus P.I. call versus Oakland.