Over the next few weeks we will reveal a prediction involving an interesting player or team leading into the 2014 NFL season.
Prediction: Turnovers = Turnaround?
An oft-cited cliché in analytics circles is that “turnovers equal turnaround.” This means that teams with extreme turnover margins from previous seasons are not likely to see those extremes again. Bad turnover margin teams generally improve and significantly so from one year to the next and vice versa. However, that does not mean that predicting turnovers is impossible nor that turnovers are not important. According to our projections for 2014, the 12 worst teams at forcing turnovers are expected to all miss the playoffs.
Eli Manning is projected to lead the league in interceptions thrown for the second straight season and fourth time in his career. This is partially due to the fact that he can withstand such poor decision making and still retain his job. Five teams – the Jets, Cardinals, Raiders, Vikings and Bills - throw more interceptions per pass attempt than Eli Manning in the projections. Andrew Luck is the best quarterback in the league for 2014 at limiting interceptions with just 1.8% interceptions per pass attempt.