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Toxic Differential: 2016 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
1Dallas Cowboys53540
2New England Patriots122638
3Atlanta Falcons111829
4Tennessee Titans02626
5Pittsburgh Steelers51823
6Green Bay Packers81220
7Oakland Raiders16-214
8Denver Broncos21113
9Seattle Seahawks1910
10New Orleans Saints-3118
11Buffalo Bills628
12Kansas City Chiefs16-97
13Baltimore Ravens527
14Washington Redskins033
15Arizona Cardinals022
16Miami Dolphins2-20
17Carolina Panthers-21-1
18New York Giants-20-2
19Cincinnati Bengals3-10-7
20San Diego Chargers-70-7
21Philadelphia Eagles6-14-8
22Houston Texans-7-2-9
23Minnesota Vikings11-20-9
24Detroit Lions-1-8-9
25Chicago Bears-202-18
26Indianapolis Colts-5-16-21
27Jacksonville Jaguars-16-5-21
28San Francisco 49ers-5-18-23
29Tampa Bay Buccaneers2-28-26
30New York Jets-20-8-28
31Cleveland Browns-12-16-28
32Los Angeles Rams-11-20-31
Toxic Differential By Season:
2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 |

Frequently Asked Questions


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Toxic Differential Related Stats