Sporting Charts

Toxic Differential

What does Toxic Differential Mean?

A statistic used in football that combines turnover differential and big play differential to give insight into how teams balance risk and reward in generating and avoiding giving up big plays (plays over 25+ yards) and winning the turnover battle. This term was coined by former NFL head coach Brian Billick.

Toxic Differential = (Big Plays For - Big Plays Against) + (Takeaways - Giveaways)


Sporting Charts explains Toxic Differential

The idea behind this statistic is that teams who generate big plays win games but more importantly they need to win the battle of these plays by generating more than giving them up, which is similar to the idea behind the turnover battle. By combining the two statistics, toxic differential gives a clue as to how often a team is able to make big plays without giving up the ball and how well their defense is at preventing big plays and generating turnovers. The key insight suggested by Brian Billick is that this statistic gives an indication into how the team balances the risks and rewards of attempting and preventing big plays.

Toxic Differential Stats for each NFL Season Since 1990

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