The Falcons’ season to this point has been defined by turnovers in a couple of important ways. If the team doesn’t have Matt Ryan interceptions against the Lions and Bills, the former game isn’t that close, and the latter game might not have been a loss.
Similarly, if the Falcons come down with another pick or two, pick up an errant ball, or don’t get one of Robert Alford’s interceptions called back, things look even more rosy than they do after a solid 3-1 start to the year. Turnovers are important, and they’re especially important to Dan Quinn.
Given that, it’s little surprise that Quinn isn’t thrilled with the team’s turnover ratio to this point, or that he made it a point of emphasis over the bye week.
“I didn’t think there was a lack of going for it. I thought we dropped a few interceptions that we really needed to capitalize on. We really need to be mindful for some of the forced fumbles.”
If Matt Ryan’s throws are a little sharper, receivers are a little more careful, and defenders really focus on the ball, chances are the Falcons will be able to get the ratio tilted back the way they want it to go. There is, as I’ve noted countless times over the last several months, simply too much talent on this team for them to continue to mess up the little things that lead to big plays.
It is worth noting that sometimes turnovers are as much blind luck as they are focus and emphasis, as much as I hate to say it. That means the team can certainly focus all they want on jarring the ball loose and trying to make quarterbacks pay for mistakes, but all it takes is an odd bounce of the ball or bit of a wobble on a pass to turn an opportunity into nothing. Similarly, we’ve already seen what happens when you get some bad bounces off your receivers’ hands, and while that’s not entirely luck, it’s still fluky.
The Falcons will need to be just a bit better to continue their winning ways over the last 12 games, though, and turnovers are one of the surest ways to prevent points and give your offense another bite at the apple. With the team’s emphasis on getting more of them, hopefully we’ll also start seeing more of them.