The Falcons are 1-4 for a Reason: Where the Turnovers At?

Kevin C. Cox

Fact: Desmond Trufant may be able to order a Big Mac at Burger King and get one, but he can't get that first NFL interception under his belt.

The Falcons aren't winning the turnover battle like they did last year. In fact, they aren't even coming close to matching the +0.7 turnover margin/game (7th in the league) they put up in 2012. This year the Falcons' turnover margin/game is -0.4 (24th best in the league), and it's not too hard to understand why.

First, let's acknowledge it's not Matt Ryan's fault. Ryan has historically thrown very few interceptions. His career interception percentage is 2.2 percent. This year his interception percentage is 1.4 percent, which would be a career low if the season ended today. Because Ryan has thrown just 3 interceptions this year, the Falcons are averaging 0.6 interceptions/game (7th in the league). In short, the passing game isn't to blame.

Next, let's talk about fumbles. The Falcons [knock on wood] aren't fumbling much - let's hope that continues. They're averaging only 0.6 fumbles lost/game (12th in the league). One less fumble and they'd be 5th in fumbles/lost game. Damn fine, if you ask me.

And now let's get to the point. Defensive turnovers. We aren't creating them, and that's a problem. Falcons opponents are losing 0.2 fumbles a game (29th in the league). The Falcons defense is only recovering 44 percent of fumbles (22nd in the league). Meanwhile, given lackluster pass rush, interceptions are far and few between. The Falcons have intercepted 1.7 percent (23rd in the league) of their opponents' passes. In addition to the absence of pressure on opposing quarterbacks, Asante Samuel's injury-ridden year is probably a huge contributing factor.

Just threw a lot of numbers at y'all. But here's the bottom line: while the Falcons are doing a good job protecting the rock, they simply aren't doing enough to create turnovers. In my mind, that's not a recipe for success.

Your thoughts?

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