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Turnovers key to Vance Joseph's turnarounds

Turnovers have been at the root of their resurgence.
Credit: USA TODAY Sports

ENGLEWOOD – Vance Joseph has experienced a run-the-table streak before and it wasn’t that long ago.

He was the Miami’s defensive coordinator in 2016 when after a 1-4 start, The Dolphins went on a 9-1 run to make the playoffs.

“I think the key is taking the ball away and not giving the ball away,’’ Joseph said.

The Dolphins were -9 in turnovers during their combined 1-4 start and final game loss to New England that season. They were +11 during their 9-1 run.

“Once you go on a run like that, you can feel it,’’ Joseph said. “It’s all about synergy with your team. How you practice, how guys meet—the feeling on gameday like you can’t lose.

“It’s definitely a great feeling, but we’re not there yet. We’ve only won two and that team (the Dolphins) won, I think, six or seven in a row if I’m not mistaken. We’re hoping to get there one day, but right now we’ve won two and we have a big challenge in Cincinnati on Sunday morning.’’

The Broncos may have work to do but they are getting there. Turnovers have been at the root of their resurgence. They were OK with an even turnover ratio during their 3-6 start, but they were a combined +6 in their last two wins against the Chargers and Steelers.

Credit the defense for the 6 takeaways – 2 interceptions each against Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger, and two fumble recoveries against the Steelers – and credit Broncos quarterback Case Keenum for the zero turnovers.

After throwing 10 interceptions through week 8 to tie Jets’ rookie Sam Darnold for the league-most, Keenum has gone three consecutive games without a pick.

“Just being smarter with the ball,’’ Keenum said. “It’s something I do. That’s why early on in the season I was frustrated. It’s tough. That’s something I pride myself on as a quarterback, giving our team a chance to win and not being the reason that we aren’t winning. Turnovers in this league is probably the biggest stat that really matters. You can look at wins and loses compared to turnover battle—who won it.’’