I don’t know about you, but I seem to recall relatively early in the season that there were some complaints about the Pittsburgh Steelers and their seeming inability to take the ball away. While they were able to record a pair of turnovers in each of their first two games—and in three of their first four—however, it is true that in the remainder of their first six games, they failed to register a single turnover.
But they have registered at least one takeaway in every single game since then, including the final 10 games of the regular season and the first two games of the postseason. They had already ended the regular season on the longest consecutive games with an interception streak in the league, and that have only continued to pad the numbers since, recording at least one takeaway now in 12 straight games.
By virtue of the fact that they finished the regular season with the longest such streak in the league, then, it stands to reason that they retain the longest streak among the final four teams in the NFL Conference Championship round of the playoffs.
The Falcons finished with the second-best run of the bunch, recording at least one takeaway in their final eight regular season games, as well as a pair in their Divisional Round victory over the Seahawks, for nine games in total. The Packers recorded at least one takeaway in their final six regular season games, and have continued to do so in their two postseason games for eight consecutive games.
The Patriots have had the shortest run of games with at least one takeaway, having done so in seven consecutive games, including their victory over the Texans, against whom they were able to claim a trio of turnovers. But they had five games during the regular season in which they did not record a takeaway, the only team among the final four to have greater than three such games.
What’s interesting to look at is the fact that all four teams are pretty much right smack dab in the middle of the pack in terms of total takeaways for the regular season. The Packers, Patriots, Steelers, and Falcons all occupy spots 13 through 16, the back end of the top half of the league, in terms of takeaways, ranging from 25 takeaways (Packers) to 22 (Falcons).
So none of the final four teams were particularly good or particularly bad at taking the ball away this year, nor were any of them particularly impressive in their sack totals. All of them are in the top half in terms of giveaways, however, and the Falcons and Patriots tied for the fewest in the league with 11. The Packers had 17, the Steelers 18.
Going back to the Steelers’ turnover numbers, however, it’s certainly worth noting that they have been doing well for themselves lately. In just their two postseason games along, they have picked up five takeaways, and have nine in their last three total games. during their nine-game winning streak, they have 18 takeaways.