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Buffalo Bills on verge of tying franchise turnover mark

Nine games into the season, the 2015 Bills have completed four games without committing a turnover. The franchise record for most games without a turnover in the regular season is five. Can the Bills tie the mark in New England?

Would it surprise you to know that the Buffalo Bills have managed to avoid turning the football over in four games this season, and are 4-0 in those contests?

It's already the second-highest total of regular season matches played without committing a turnover in franchise history. Five other teams (1983, 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2008) managed to play four turnover-less games out of 16, and three more (1998, 2006, and last year's 2014 outfit) had five games with no turnovers. With seven games to play this season, the 2015 Bills have a good shot at tying that franchise mark, if not surpassing it.

In their other five games this season, the Bills have committed 11 turnovers and have a 1-4 record. This is worth mentioning for two reasons: winning the turnover battle is clearly of critical importance to a team built the way the Bills are built; and the Bills are historically awful when it comes to winning the turnover battle against this week's opponent, the New England Patriots.

That long-standing issue sprung up in Week 2, when Tyrod Taylor threw two interceptions to help spot the Patriots a 37-13 lead that the Bills couldn't surmount in a fourth-quarter rally (they lost 40-32 at Ralph Wilson Stadium). Buffalo's defense forced two turnovers in that game - one of which came during that aforementioned rally, which Taylor equaled on Buffalo's final possession - but the Bills lost the turnover battle to New England for a third straight contest, including their meaningless Week 17 win at Gillette Stadium last season.

In fact, in their last 11 matchups (the previous five seasons dating back to 2010, plus this year's Week 2 matchup), the Patriots have won the turnover battle eight times. That's not to say that New England is vulnerable when they lose the turnover battle - they still won two of the three games in which the Bills managed to gain that particular edge - but in a clear-underdog situation, the Bills have obviously done an excellent job of beating themselves.

The Bills are 1-7 in those eight games in which they've lost the turnover battle against New England, with the win coming at the end of last season, when the Pats were resting their starters after clinching a playoff bye. In total, the Patriots have turned the ball over 14 times in those 11 contests, a total considerably less than half of the Bills' total of 33.

Asking the Bills to complete a third straight game without turning the football over is a bit much - that has never happened in franchise history - but minimizing the damage and winning the turnover battle would be a good start for a young team trying to solve a problem, in beating New England, that's been plaguing the organization for the better part of two decades.