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Turnover differentials continue traditional impacts

The Bengals turnover over differential currently matches their record -- even. But the age old conclusion that turnovers determine games continues to trend.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

When the Cincinnati Bengals lose the turnover battle, their chances to win games are significantly reduced. This is football 101. More turnovers means less chances for the offense to score and more opportunities for the opposing team to generate unscheduled points. Dating back to 2011, the Bengals have lost the turnover battle in 13 games. And during those games, the Bengals are a combined 4-9.

On the other hand, of the 14 games with the Bengals winning the turnover battle since 2011, Cincinnati is 10-4. Including Monday Night's 20-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"It makes a huge difference," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said after Cincinnati's win. "You see it game after game in the NFL. You’ve got to possess the football. If you possess the football, good things can happen. If you turn the ball over to them, you’ve got a harder night."

Cincinnati turned the ball over three times during kickoff weekend in Chicago. A pair of Andy Dalton interceptions and a fumble lost by Mohamed Sanu led to Chicago's 24-21 win last Sunday. It's real simple. Hold onto the football, win games.

"When you look at the games you don’t turn the ball over you have a better chance at winning the game," said Dalton after the game. "We won the turnover battle, so that was huge."

Dalton didn't thrown an interception on Monday, which is a significant contrast from last year when he threw at least one pick during the first eight games of the 2012 season.

Currently of the eight undefeated teams in the NFL, seven have a positive turnover ratio. Cincinnati is currently at even, after a -2 against the Bears and +2 against the Steelers, thanks to an Adam Jones fumble and Reggie Nelson interception.