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Chiefs threatening all-time NFL turnover records

Matt Cassel

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel (7) passes to a teammate during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)


The Chiefs haven’t just been bad in the turnover department this season. They’ve been historically bad.

With 15 turnovers so far this season -- eight lost fumbles and seven interceptions -- Kansas City is on pace to turn the ball over 60 times. That’s close to the all-time NFL record of 63 turnovers in a season, set by the 1978 San Francisco 49ers. And with a turnover differential of minus-13, the Chiefs are on pace to finish at minus-52. That would blow away the all-time NFL record of minus-30, set by the 1965 Pittsburgh Steelers.

Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel acknowledged that his team has a problem.

We cannot turn the ball over, so we’re going to concentrate on the importance of the football and hanging onto it,” Crennel said this week. “One thing we do is work on it more, so all week we’re going to put more emphasis on hanging onto the football.”

It’s probably unlikely that the Chiefs will continue having all these turnover problems: Losing and recovering fumbles tends to be as much about luck as anything else, and a team that’s been extremely unlucky for four games probably won’t continue to be extremely unlucky for 12 more games. But Crennel is right that this is something the Chiefs have to get better at. Benching Matt Cassel, who has already thrown seven interceptions and lost three fumbles, may be a step in that direction.