If you’re looking for a good predictor of teams that have had success during the regular season and could make a deep playoff run, taking a closer look at sudden change situations, which measures how much teams take advantage of turnover situations during a game, is a good place to start.
When looking at where teams finished up at the end of the regular season, the top six teams still are alive in the playoffs, and No. 7 Kansas City was knocked out by No. 6 Baltimore last week.
Chicago is No. 12 on this list, with a +19 Net difference in turnover points, while Seattle is No. 26 overall with a -36 net difference in turnover points.
Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher said creating and scoring points off turnovers remains a key to his team’s success this season.
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“Takeaways are huge,” Urlacher said. “We know in the NFL if you get takeaways, if you have a plus-turnover ratio you’re probably going to win the game. It’s a proven stat, so that’s the way it is. And we’ve been pretty good at taking the ball away all season long. There’s been a couple game we haven’t had that many, but for the most part we’ve been pretty good at it.”
Urlacher also indicated having Lance Briggs back, who missed the first game against Seattle with an ankle injury, will be big for his team.
“It could be a little different with him in the game I think,” joked Urlacher. “He gets us going. He makes a lot of plays for us, is always around the line of scrimmage. A lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm, and when he’s in the game, we’re a little bit better.”
Urlacher also said the key to containing Matt Hasselbeck is the same for stopping any good quarterback, force them to perform under duress.
“We’d like to get pressure on him if we can,” Urlacher said. “Every quarterback’s different when there’s pressure in their face, we know that. He’s good on the run. You’re not going to trick him very often, we know that. So he’s a good quarterback. He knows our system. He knows where to go with the football.”
Check out the list below.
NFL Sudden Change Index