By Jay Skurski
The turnover battle has largely told the story of the Buffalo Bills' season.
In Buffalo's four wins, the Bills have recorded more turnovers than the opponent three times, and were even in turnovers (against Arizona) in the other victory.
In the team's six losses, it's turned the ball over more than the opposition each time.
"We talk about that. One of our goals is to create two or more turnovers. ... That's always what we strive to do," said linebacker Bryan Scott, who sealed last night's win against Miami with an interception of Ryan Tannehill. "Sacks and turnovers, those win games. Teams that get a lot of sacks, they create a lot turnovers, they don't give the ball up and they don't give up sacks – they're in the upper echelon of the league, year in and year out."
Scott let a sure interception elude him against New England in Week 10, and sure hasn't forgotten it.
"I miscalculated the jump. I saw the tip. I saw the ball go in the air and I knew Wes Welker was on my left shoulder," he said. I saw Nick [Barnett] closing in and some other colors coming toward me. The ball was just sitting up there. I was like 'ok, I have to high point this thing, because there's going to be a group of guys going up for it.
"I got over anxious and I jumped early. … When I went back and watched the film, Nick had knocked down Wes, they ran into each other, and it was just Kyle [Williams] standing there watching me. I could have fielded it like a punt, but in the moment, I didn't see that. I saw, the ball's in the air, it's hanging up there I need to go up and get it."
The play haunted Smith leading into the Miami game.
"I had been beating myself up over it all week, because when you lose a game you think about ‘what could I have done differently.’ Who knows, maybe if I had caught that ball and scored, maybe it changes the outcome of the game,” he said. "It's funny, I have a picture of it on my phone –- it's my screen saver -- of me dropping that ball. I see it every day, every time I pick up my phone it's a constant reminder to focus in, don't take anything for granted.
"Last night, that's all I was thinking was 'you're not going to drop this thing.' Grab it and make sure you hold onto it."
The Bills forced three Miami turnovers last night after going three straight weeks without recording a single one.
"You have to create those opportunities. It's not luck, you have to create them," Scott said. "And when that opportunity comes your way, you have to take advantage of it."
Here's the eight division leaders' league rank in turnover differential, sacks for and sacks against through the first 10 weeks of the season.
* New England: +13 (tied
for first), 20 (tied for 17th), 15 (sixth)
* Baltimore: +5 (eighth), 16 (tied for 22nd), 19 (tied for 13th)
* Houston: +7 (tied for fifth), 25 (tied for 10th), 11 (tied for 1st)
* Denver: -3 (tied for 22nd), 31 (first), 11 (tied for first)
* N.Y. Giants: +13 (tied for first), 25 (tied for fifth), 13 (tied for third)
* Chicago: +12 (third), 26 (tied for seventh), 28 (28th)
* Atlanta: +10 (fourth), 21 (tied for 14th), 19 (tied for 13th)
* San Francisco: +3 (tied for ninth), 17 (21st), 29 (tied for 29th)