It's been a long time since we've heard anyone say anything nice about the Atlanta Falcons defense. Hearing bad things about the Falcons defense is just ... normal. But I'll say this, Dan Quinn and his merry band of coaches are trying to fix it. They're doing their best to right the ship.
Through two preseason games the Falcons haven't forced a single turnover. As most football fans know, a positive turnover margin does a lot in the win-loss column. Quinn and defensive coordinator Richard Smith obviously understand that as well. That's why they're apparently frustrated with the defense. And that's why Smith is looking for the defense to go hard and force turnovers Thursday night against the Miami Dolphins.
"To do that, you have to hunt like a dog to get them," Smith said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday. "You have to be conscious of it. We haven't been able to get that done." The Falcons ranked 27th overall in the NFL in turnover-ratio in 2015, with 30 turnovers and 23 takeaways (15 interceptions, eight fumble recoveries) for a minus-7. Carolina stormed to the Super Bowl with an NFL-best plus-20 turnover margin.
This isn't complicated. Turnovers are important. In fact, they're necessary. So far the defense hasn't looked hungry enough to force turnovers. That needs to change, starting Thursday against the Dolphins. Let the hunt begin, gentlemen.