INDIANAPOLIS – It was a directive that Chuck Pagano delivered to his team during their recent offseason program.
Pagano also decided to share that piece of information with the media, further emphasizing how important he viewed this particular stat.
Since Pagano's arrival in 2012, the Colts have played 29 games in which they ended those contests with at least a plus one margin in turnover differential.
In those 29 contests, the Colts are 27-2.
That stat was delivered to Pagano's team this offseason.
"That's pretty simple to grasp and cling on to," Pagano said.
"If we can take care of the ball…"
Taking care of the ball and taking the ball away is a deadly combination for winning football games in the NFL.
Over the last handful of years, the Colts have the sixth most wins in the NFL (49).
In averaging nearly double-digit wins the last five seasons, Indianapolis has done that while overcoming the stat that correlates most with winning and losing.
Under Pagano, the Colts have had the following rankings in turnover margin: 26th, 10th, 25th, 26th and 25th.
If the Colts could churn those rankings closer to the middle of the pack, more wins would follow.
That's why Pagano, and new GM Chris Ballard, have hammered home the need for defensive playmaking going forward.
While protecting the football also plays into the 27-2 record when recording a plus one turnover margin or better, the Colts are feisty for more takeaways.
Hence the reason for these off-season moves:
-The drafting of Malik Hooker.
-The move of Darius Butler to safety.
-The overhaul of defensive personnel in every level of the unit.
All were results of the Colts' agenda this offseason, in trying to find their way back into the postseason.
"We certainly know," Pagano says, "that we have to take away the ball more this season if we're going to have success."
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