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Mistake Free Football Will Help The Falcons Win

Duh, you say.

Still, it's an integral piece of what the Falcons are going to be trying to do against the Giants. It's relevant enough that Mike Smith himself talked to D. Orlando Ledbetter about it, citing the team's seven (!) turnovers in two playoff games under his coachhood.

"The common theme [was] you can’t turn the football over," Smith said. "One happened right before halftime last season, and in Arizona I think it was the first or second play of the second half. We came out and turned the ball over and it was returned for a touchdown, as well. It’s no different than regular-season football, but we’ve got to make sure that we have ball security. We cannot turn the football over in the postseason."

The Giants are not a great defensive football team. As more than one Big Blue Viewer has noted—thanks for your contributions, guys—the Giants depend on that lethal pass rush to cover up very real issues in coverage. Getting into the backfield constantly means forced throws and potentially fumbles. That masks those very real weaknesses in the secondary and allows the Giants' potent passing attack to get on the field and put up points, which I'm not a fan of.

More importantly, this Falcons team has shown itself hard-pressed to recover from those mistakes in both big games and playoff games. Because these Giants can hang points in bunches without any help from fumbles, interceptions and even penalties, the Falcons must limit or eliminate all three. They've been there twice already, so jitters aren't really legitimate at this point.

In essence, this is exactly what the Falcons saw against the Cardinals and Packers. In both cases, turnovers led to points, and in the case of Green Bay, an insurmountable lead. If the Falcons don't turn the ball over, chances are good they'll at least be hanging field goals on most drives against the Giants' D, and that will keep them in the game at minimum. If they win the turnover battle by forcing a couple of their own, they have a great shot at winning the game.

They can't afford to repeat those past mistakes. Ball security is priority number one on Sunday.