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Key Stat Shows How Turnovers Have Drastically Changed the Bengals' Season

Cincinnati's record would be much different without so many turnovers

CINCINNATI — The Bengals are 7-5 and in the thick of the AFC playoff race, but they've also turned the ball over 19 times, which is tied for the fifth-most in the NFL. 

They had four turnovers in Sunday's 41-22 loss to the Chargers. 

"It has to change, some way, shape or form," offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said on Monday. "In our last three losses, we’ve turned the ball over, I think, eight times in three losses. That’s not going to get it done versus very many good teams. 

"The turnovers, they’re too many. It’s too many all the way around. Our defense has done a decent job of getting the ball back. We’re really neutralizing that advantage when we keep giving the ball away at the rate we are, whether it’s fumbles or interceptions or however they come. I think we’ve turned the ball over on three of our four last opening drives of the game. That’s a tough way to start a football game."

The Bengals lead the NFL in points lost due to turnovers. They cost themselves at least 10 points in Sunday's loss to the Chargers. Los Angeles scored 17 points off of those turnovers. That's a 27-point swing [minimum] and it could've been even more, depending on what the Bengals' offense would've done after Joe Mixon's fumble. 

If they had just five less turnovers, then they would probably have another win or two and be in the hunt for the AFC's top seed. Instead, they're in a cluster of teams all fighting for one of three Wild Card spots. 

If Cincinnati is going to make a playoff run, then they're going to need to take better care of the ball over the next five games. 

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