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Stats Wizard: Bills creating takeaways, limiting giveaways at a historic pace

Since the bye, the Bills have had seven takeaways to just one giveaway in their two games – upping their season turnover differential to a NFL best +14, with no team in sight, nearly double the second-place Jacksonville Jaguars, at +8. But the Bills ability to create turnovers on offense and limit them on defense is not just seasonally exceptional, it is historically excellent.

Buffalo has had just one full season in which they had a better margin at the end of the year, in 1965, with 18 more takeaways than giveaways, doing so in 14 games, twice as many as they have played thus far this season. Oddly enough, however, they did have a better seven-game start in 1993, when they generated 15 more turnovers on defense than allowed on offense. After a hot start, they finished at -3, +12 on the season, still good for second in the league, bested only by the San Diego Chargers, at +15.

The Bills are the first team with a +14 turnover differential through their first seven games played since the 2005 Cincinnati Bengals. Buffalo is now the only team to do so twice, again also in their 1993 season, since the 1980 season. And since their 1993 season, only four other teams have accomplished this feat.

Their differential of +14 is comprised of 17 takeaways and only three giveaways. No team has ever had more turnovers forced on defense and fewer turnovers conceded offensively through seven games in a season. In fact, their three offensive turnovers is tied for the second-best mark through seven games in history – with the 2014 Chargers and 2015 Patriots – naturally, the best seven-game start also occurred this season, as the Chiefs yielded just a single turnover through their first seven played.

After forcing four turnovers against the Raiders, the Bills are now riding a streak of four straight games with at least three turnovers, the longest such streak since the Chiefs had also had four straight in early 2013. They've got a ways to go to best the longest streak ever, 20 games, by the Los Angeles Rams from Oct. 3, 1952, to Nov. 22, 1953. However, the longest streak during the Super Bowl Era is much more reasonably within reach, but still at more than twice the Bills current streak, at nine games, held by the Atlanta Falcons (Nov. 13, 1977, to Sept. 17, 1978), Washington Redskins (Oct. 23, 1983, to Dec. 17, 1983), and Philadelphia Eagles (Nov. 20, 1988 to Nov. 2, 1989).

Stats Wizard — the "Buffalo Bills" technically have two active streaks of four straight games with three turnovers forced, their current one, and the original Bills, who played four seasons from 1946 to 1949, and closed out with four straight games with at least three takeaways from Nov. 6, 1949, to Nov. 27, 1949. 

The longest streak for games with at least three forced turnovers and no more than one turnover allowed is five games, by the Pittsburgh Steelers in late 1989 and the Green Bay Packers in early 2002, the Bills will look to tie this record as they take on the New York Jets, who have a -1 differential on the season.

Overall, the Bills +14 turnover margin puts them at a pace for +32 on the season, if they maintain this seemingly impossible pace. The all-time record is held by the 1983 Redskins, who finished at +43, they actually began slower than the Bills did, going +13 in their first seven games, and, like the Bills, started the season off 5-2. That year, the Redskins won out, finishing 14-2, en route to a conference championship victory ... so, there is hope!

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