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A New Orleans Saints Offseason Wish List

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Fewer Mistakes

Nov 9, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; The New Orleans Saints and the San Francisco 49ers players battle for the ball after a fumble by Saints quarterback Drew Brees (not pictured) in overtime at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The 49ers won 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

When you finish with a dismal rating in turnover differential, there’s sure to be a story of polar opposites. While the Saints took away the ball only 17 times last season, they gave it away 30 times. That resulted in a 28th ranking (just like the takeaway ranking).

The turnovers proved to be absolute killers last season, and it cost the Saints several games. Interceptions (17) were tied for 24th in the league, and fumbles (13) were tied for 26th in the league.

Ball security has always been a prominent theme in the NFL, and averaging nearly two turnovers a game is not going to win you football games.

For some perspective, the 2009 Saints churned out a +11 turnover differential, thanks largely in part to the 39 takeaways (which was second in the NFL behind the Packers). They still turned it over 28 times, but made up for it by the having a knack for getting the ball.

Another example could be the 2011 Saints, who finished with a -3 turnover differential, but they took care of the football that season. They didn’t get the turnovers (16 takeaways), but only give it away 19 times. The glaring statistic from that team was the fact that they only lost 5 fumbles.

Turnovers are going to happen, but can we please avoid the ill-advised, poorly timed ones this season?

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