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Forcing The Turnover
January 09 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
One of the biggest factors in any football game, turnovers, play an integral role in deciding the victors of games. It is simple logic that the more times a defense can get the ball into the end zone, either by returning a turnover, or by handing the ball off to the offense, the better a team will fair. In many cases this can be perceived as a fourteen-point turnaround and can often supply the knock out punch your team needs.

Itís been a special year for the 49ers defense. Two players on the team, Ahmed Plummer and Zack Bronson accounted for an amazing seven interceptions each. Together they made up slightly more than half of the 49ers forced turnovers. At the seasonís end, the 49ers were at plus twelve in the turnover ration. That means they forced twelve more turnovers than were forced on them. Interestingly enough, that works out to one extra turnover per win the 49ers had this season.

Defensively, the 49ers recovered ten fumbles and offensively the team lost ten fumbles. But it was the interception margin that really put the 49ers above the rest. The team forced twenty-four interceptions, or twelve more than the twelve forced on them. Of these interceptions, five of them were returned for touchdowns.

This turnover margin is a key factor in the success the 49ers have had this season. The tough part will be continuing to win the turnover battle in the playoffs. Particularly this week against the Packers where, the weather is going to be cold, the 49ers defense needs to step up and give the offense every opportunity possible to put points on the board.

Talk about it in the 49ers Paradise Forum

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