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History dictates that turnovers will determine Super Bowl's outcome

Win the turnover battle, win the game. That mantra has never been truer than in the Super Bowl, where teams with a positive turnover differential have gone 31-3.

Behind the numbers

   Every day this week, will break down a different statistical trend to monitor in 
  Super Bowl XLIV. 

» Monday:Brees vs. Manning
» Tuesday:Pressuring the quarterback
» Wednesday:Rushing breakdown
» Thursday: Positive turnover differential

» Friday: Average starting field position

» Saturday:Super Bowl experience

» Sunday: Breaking down the kickers

Turnovers could be a major factor in Super Bowl XLIV, both for the New Orleans Saints, who expect to cause them, and the Indianapolis Colts, who expect to avoid them.

Something will have to give Sunday.

Coordinator Gregg Williams' arrival in New Orleans has transformed the Saints' defense from one of the NFL's most porous units into one of the more opportunistic. The Saints ended the regular season with a plus-11 turnover differential, good for third-best in the league.

Led by Pro Bowl safety Darren Sharper, the Saints recorded 26 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries. Their 39 takeaways were second only to the Green Bay Packers' 40. With seven more takeaways in two playoff games, the Saints continued to do what they do best -- bait teams into mistakes with an aggressive secondary and force fumbles at an alarming pace.

Saints punched ticket with turnovers

Turnover differential is pretty much the swing vote in a game of this magnitude, and the Saints' defense has made takeaways its campaign slogan this season, Steve Wyche writes. **More ...**

The Saints will be challenged to come up with turnovers against the Colts because Peyton Manning is one of the best at taking care of the football. Manning threw 16 interceptions during the regular season, but he had only one in two playoff games. Manning has thrown just three interceptions in his last 152 pass attempts.

On Sunday, the Colts will do what they can to control the clock and keep Drew Brees and the Saints' offense off the field. But a couple of turnovers from this aggressive Saints defense could be enough to sway the time of possession battle in New Orleans' favor. And if history is any indicator, it likely will be enough to put the Saints in position for an upset.

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