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How Opportunistic Will The Falcon Defense Be In 2013?

An open-ended defensive question to start your morning.

Todd Kirkland

The 2012 Atlanta Falcons were both lucky and good when it came to turnovers. It's been that way for a while now.

The team hasn't had a negative turnover ratio since 2008, when they were -3 for the season. In 2012, they were +11, which was good for 4th in the NFL. With some big hitters and some ballhawking players at both cornerback and linebacker, it's not surprising that the Falcons forced so many turnovers. The question is, can they replicate that?

That's a tougher question to answer. The Falcons have turned in some remarkably consistent work in recent years, but turnovers tend to fluctuate from year-to-year no matter how good you are. Fumbles, in particular, are difficult to replicate, given the difficulty in picking up a loose ball squirting around the field. Even if the Falcons continue to force those fumbles, picking them up at the same rate in 2013 might be impossible.

My guess is that we'll still see a fair number of turnovers for the Falcons, with something like 15-20 interceptions and 5-10 fumbles recovered, because this is an athletic and opportunistic defense. I just don't expect them to be fourth in the league again without a little luck.

Weigh in, if you would!