New England Patriots: Masters of the turnover battle


As the 2012 calendar turns to its final month, we find ourselves squarely in the New England Patriots' hot zone.

Since 2010, the Patriots are 19-0 in the last eight games of the regular season, averaging 412.8 yards per game. In that same span, the Patriots have a turnover differential of plus-51. That's just silly.

Harrison: Week 13 predictions
With only five games left in the regular season, it's must-win time for several clubs. Elliot Harrison provides his picks for Week 13. More ...

Patriots coach Bill Belichick spoke this week about the team's emphasis on creating turnovers.

"We work on stripping the ball every day, recovering them every day," Belichick said, via's Jeff Darlington. "We talk about opportunities to get the ball out as we watch film. It's no different than the way it's been -- we've done that since I was with the Giants. It's part of your defense."

Darlington spoke with running back Danny Woodhead about that amazing turnover differential: five giveaways and 56 takeaways in 19 games, all victories. Woodhead was unaware of the stat when Darlington told him.

"It's not something we're looking back on," Woodhead said. "It's not something I'm thinking about. We're thinking about the Miami Dolphins. That's the approach we're always taking, whether we're playing in September or December. We're trying to execute that game plan. That's really what it comes down to. We're trying to execute what the coaches call."

It's an archetypal Patriots answer that will excite no one. But when you're plus-51, you can say whatever you want.

Follow Jeff Darlington on Twitter @JeffDarlington.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.