Saints fans hold up a sign with their team's record after a 33-30 overtime… (James Lang / US Presswire )
NFL teams don't take pride in their turnovers, but the league as a whole sure does.
Only these "turnovers" aren't interceptions or fumbles, but worst-to-first turnarounds when a team goes from the bottom of its division to the top in only one season. When that happens, it underscores the competitive balance of the league.
And it has happened nine times since realignment in 2002.
The New Orleans Saints are the latest franchise to pull off a U-turn, clinching the NFC South last weekend, a year after finishing buried beneath Carolina, Atlanta and Tampa Bay.
Teams that have made the bottom-to-top climb over the last seven seasons, with record and previous season record:
Team Record Previous
*Through 12 games
Indianapolis is four consecutive victories from a 16-0 regular season, something only the New England Patriots have accomplished. But the Colts could be only four quarters away from surpassing the Patriots on another page of the NFL record book.
These Colts have won 21 consecutive regular-season games dating to last season, tying the record set by the 2006-08 Patriots for the longest winning streak in league history.
What's more, the Colts have already extended their record to seven consecutive seasons of 12 or more victories.
"You try to tell these guys that when you win a couple in a row, or three or four in a row, this is not normal," quarterback Peyton Manning said. "It's not normal to win 10 or 11 or 12 games every year. But these guys that have been here five years would tell me it is normal for us. That's all they've done."
Finally, the Colts can also set another record. They already have six victories this season in which they came from behind in the fourth quarter. They're only the fifth team since 1970 to do that. No one has done it seven times in a season.
The teams with the most fourth-quarter comeback wins in a season (since 1970):YearTeamNo1978Houston Oilers 61985Denver Broncos 61992Miami Dolphins 61999Indianapolis Colts 62009 Indianapolis Colts* 6
*Through 12 games
Source: NFLHole in the wall
San Diego was having a difficult enough time stopping the run this season -- the Chargers are 21st in that department -- and now the team has lost another trench warrior. The Chargers put defensive tackle Ogemdi Nwagbuo (ankle) on injured reserve last week, meaning he's done for the season.
The timing could be better. Their next three opponents -- Dallas, Cincinnati and Tennessee -- all rank among the league's top eight teams when it comes to running the ball.
The Chargers have won 15 consecutive games in December, dating to a 2006 victory at Buffalo. That's the longest such streak in league history.
The longest December win streaks in NFL history:TeamYearsNoSan Diego Chargers 2006-present15Dallas Cowboys 1968-197213New England Patriots 2006-200812Oakland Raiders 1966-197011Oakland Raiders 1971-197511