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Seahawks prove that turnovers aren’t always decisive

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RENTON, Wash. — Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is baffled by the way his team’s first five games of the season played out.

Carroll constantly maintains that winning the turnover battle is a key component to winning football games. However, Seattle lost two games while winning the turnover battle and won a game while losing the turnover battle so far this year.

“I don’t understand it,” Carroll said. “It doesn’t make sense to me. Usually, when you control the football, you win. Our stats aren’t supporting that for the first time in 14 years, you know? It’s really odd, and I can’t imagine that it’ll stay the same. It should turn. All of the principles and the odds of that just aren’t in the right direction right now.”

Seattle won the turnover battle 3-1 against the St. Louis Rams in the season opener and lost 34-31 in overtime. They won the turnover battle 2-1 last week in Cincinnati and lost 27-24 in overtime to the Bengals. They also beat the Detroit Lions in Week 4 despite losing the turnover battle 3-1.

“It’s very odd,” wide receiver Doug Baldwin said. “Even if you look at the statistics across the NFL, it usually doesn’t happen that way.”

The Indianapolis Colts are the only team in the league to hold a winning record despite a negative turnover differential. Sixteen teams have a negative turnover differential, and they are a combined 23-55.

“I can’t register that,” Carroll said. “That doesn’t fit in my brain. I don’t know that. Years and years and years, and it doesn’t fit. All I think of is that’s going to flip-flop the very next chance we go out, and it hasn’t yet.”

Carroll’s theory should be put to test again this week as Carolina comes to Seattle. The Panthers lead the league in turnover differential. Their plus-8 turnover margin is two turnovers clear of the rest of the league, and cornerback Josh Norman is tied for the league lead with four interceptions.

Keeping control of the football will be crucial for Seattle on Sunday.

“They’re getting turnovers galore,” Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. “A lot of interceptions from the corners, from the linebackers. I think they’re playing great all over the place.”

NOTES: Linebacker Bobby Wagner is day-to-day this week due to a pectoral muscle strain he sustained during last week’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. … Running back Marshawn Lynch (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday but is expected to fully participate Thursday and Friday. Coach Pete Carroll is confident that he will be back this week. Lynch missed the past two games. … Linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis (hamstring) returned to limited participation Wednesday.


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