DENVER - John Elway says the key factor in playoff victories is maintaining control of the ball on offense.
The Broncos' Executive Vice President of Football Operations made the comments during the latest edition of a weekly podcast produced by the team. He was discussing the Charger's 27-10 defeat of the Bengals, a game in which San Diego had no turnovers but forced one fumble and caught two interceptions.
"Well, I think they controlled the football and they didn’t turn it over," Elway said. "That is the key thing in playoff football – if you can control it."
If Elway is right -- and traditional football wisdom dictates that he is -- this season's statistics show Denver has an advantage. For the 2013 regular season, the Broncos were in a 3-way tie for 12th place in interceptions while the Chargers were in a tie for 26th place. In forced fumbles, Denver's defense ranked 7th while the Chargers were in a tie for 18th.
Elway also noted that turnovers were the Achilles' heel of his team during their Week 15 loss to the Chargers at home.
"That is what they did against us last time. They controlled the football against us last time. And I will say this, we did not play our best football game of the year," Elway said.