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Toxic Differential: 2015 NFL Season

Toxic Differential is a statistic in football used to measure a team on their ability in creating and preventing both turnovers and explosive plays. Toxic Differential is calculated by adding together a teams turnover differential (takeaways - giveaways) and its big play differential (big plays for - big plays against).

Toxic differential is a combination of three different differential statistics:

1) Turnover differential, which is the difference between the total number of takeaways (opponent turnovers) less the total number of giveaways (team turnovers.

2) Passing Big Play differential, which is the difference between the total number of passing plays of 25+ yards by the team less the total number of passing plays of 25+ yards the team gave up.

3) Rushing Big Play differential, which is the difference between the total number of rushing plays of 10+ yards by the team less the total number of rushing plays of 10+ yards the team gave up.

Simply add these three up.

A higher toxic differential is better.

More about Toxic Differential

The statistic was created by Super Bowl winning coach Brian Billick while he was offensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings.  He's quoted as saying "It’s not merely good enough to avoid turning the ball over; you need to generate big offensive plays as well."  

The holy grail is having a double positive, in other words a team is winning the turnover differential AND the explosive play differential. Over the last 15+ seasons, a majority of teams that have won the Super Bowl finished the regular season in the Top 10 for Toxic Differential.


CHANGE SEASON: 
Toxic Differential Leaders
TeamTurnover DifferentialBig Play DifferentialToxic Differential
1Carolina Panthers203454
2Seattle Seahawks74249
3Cincinnati Bengals112536
4Buffalo Bills62935
5Kansas City Chiefs141125
6Minnesota Vikings51924
7Pittsburgh Steelers21921
8Arizona Cardinals91120
9New York Jets61117
10New England Patriots7613
11Denver Broncos-41410
12Green Bay Packers549
13Tampa Bay Buccaneers-5127
14St. Louis Rams516
15Houston Texans5-23
16New York Giants7-13-6
17San Francisco 49ers-5-2-7
18Atlanta Falcons-70-7
19Jacksonville Jaguars-103-7
20Baltimore Ravens-146-8
21Oakland Raiders1-10-9
22Philadelphia Eagles-5-8-13
23Chicago Bears-4-9-13
24New Orleans Saints2-24-22
25Miami Dolphins-3-19-22
26Washington Redskins5-30-25
27Detroit Lions-6-20-26
28Indianapolis Colts-5-23-28
29Dallas Cowboys-22-10-32
30Cleveland Browns-9-24-33
31Tennessee Titans-14-21-35
32San Diego Chargers-4-32-36
Toxic Differential By Season:
2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 |

Frequently Asked Questions


Toxic Differential Related Terms


Toxic Differential Related Stats