Turnovers and penalties have been key to Titans’ season

 

Coaches have an old saying that turnovers and penalties will kill you. It’s a maxim that held true again in the Titans 34-27 win over the Cowboys on Sunday. Dallas was good enough to move the ball up and down the field but not good enough to overcome their mistakes.
 
The Cowboys amassed 511 total net yards, while the Titans gained only 321. Dallas had 25 first downs to 17 for Tennessee. The Cowboys controlled the ball for 36:44 while the Titans maintained possession for just 23:16. Dallas had 75 plays from scrimmage, Tennessee only 55.
 
The difference in the game was that Tennessee didn’t commit any turnovers and had only four penalties for 40 yards. Dallas turned the ball over three times and had 12 penalties for 133 yards.

 
It’s something that has been a constant in all of the Titans games this year. In their three wins, the Titans have won the battle of turnovers and penalties. In their two losses, the Titans have lost the turnover/penalty battle.
 
In Titans three wins:
Interceptions Fumbles lost Penalties Penalty yards
Titans 0 1 20 201
Opponents 6 2 33 296

 

In Titans two losses:
Interceptions Fumbles lost Penalties Penalty yards
Titans 3 6 21 183
Opponents 1 1 11 109
  
Here’s the game by game breakdown.
 
Week 5 – Titans 34, Cowboys 27
Interceptions Fumbles lost Penalties Penalty yards
Titans 0 0 4 40
Cowboys 3 0 12 133

 

 

Week 4 — Broncos 26, Titans 20
Interceptions Fumbles lost Penalties Penalty yards
Broncos 1 0 6 74
Titans 0 2 10 111
 
Week 3 — Titans 29, Giants 10
Interceptions Fumbles lost Penalties Penalty yards
Titans 0 0 8 80
Giants 2 1 11 86

 

Week 2 — Steelers 19, Titans 11
Interceptions Fumbles lost Penalties Penalty yards
Steelers 0 1 5 35
Titans 3 4 11 72

 

 
Week 1 — Titans 38, Raiders 13
Interceptions Fumbles lost Penalties Penalty yards
Titans 0 1 8 81
Raiders 1 1 10 77

 

Losing the battle of turnovers and penalties was most pronounced in the Pittsburgh loss. Seven turnovers to one and double the penalties won’t beat anybody.
 
Winning the turnover/penalty battle was the most beneficial against Dallas, as noted above.
 
The things that Paul Brown, Vince Lombardi, Don Shula and all those old coaches said about turnovers and penalties remain true today. Sometimes it’s a pretty simple game.
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