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Seahawks’ turnover stats don’t add up to Pete Carroll

Seattle has lost two games in which it's won the turnover battle this season, a rarity under Pete Carroll. (AP)

RENTON – Win the turnover battle, win the game.

That’s been a nearly automatic formula for Pete Carroll dating all the way back to his days at USC. That it hasn’t held true over the first five games of the season is one more reason why the Seahawks’ 2-3 start doesn’t add up to their head coach.

“I can’t even explain it to you,” Carroll said Monday, a day after Seattle’s overtime loss to Cincinnati. “I’ve got so many games in our history. We’re into the 70-games – something like that – number … of winning games when we had a plus turnover ratio. To have these on the reverse of that, I don’t understand it. It doesn’t make sense to me.”

Seahawks’ takeaway/turnover stats: 2015
Team TAKE TURN Diff. Result
STL 3 1 +2 L, 34-31
GB 1 2 -1 L, 27-17
CHI 0 0 Even W, 26-0
DET 1 3 -2 W, 13-10
CIN 2 1 +1 L, 27-24

The Seahawks entered this season with a 33-6 record under Carroll in games in which they won the turnover battle, i.e., they took the ball away from their opponent more times than they turned it over. Yet in Week 1 against St. Louis and again on Sunday against Cincinnati, the Seahawks lost despite finishing with a positive turnover differential.

The chart on the right shows Seattle’s turnover and takeaway numbers from their five games this season. The Seahawks were intercepted once against Cincinnati, they picked off one pass of their own and also forced a fumble that was returned for a touchdown, finishing with a plus-one turnover differential but a loss nonetheless.

“Usually, when you control the football, you win. Our stats aren’t supporting that for the first time in 14 years,” Carroll said. “It’s really odd, and I can’t imagine that it’ll stay the same. It should turn. All of the principles and the odds of that just aren’t in the right direction right now.”