4. Winning the turnover battle
The LA Chargers won the turnover battle 2-0 vs. Cincinnati in Week 1. In Week 2, Justin Herbert’s lone interception lost them the turnover battle, but it was mostly just a rookie mistake. They kept it close anyway.
This week, the Chargers got blown out in terms of turnovers. Even if you take out the Keenan Allen–Austin Ekeler lateral fumble, it was a -3 margin. The Herbert fumble was debatable, but he has to tuck that football in and take the sack with the pocket collapsing on him. The Joshua Kelley fumble and the Herbert interception to end the half weren’t debatable.
The latter of those two gave the Panthers an 11-point lead heading into halftime instead of an eight-point lead. That became massive down the stretch, as the Chargers could’ve had a field goal for the win on the last drive if that miscue doesn’t happen. Instead, they had to score a touchdown starting from their own one-yard line.
Like with penalties, if an opponent gifts a Brady led team turnovers, it usually becomes uncompetitive. In the last two weeks, the Buccaneers have won the turnover battle by a +4 margin and maintained a +32 point differential as a result.
The Saints didn’t have an outstanding day on offense vs. the Buccaneers in Week 1, but they dominated that game because they forced Tampa into a -3 turnover margin.