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The Falcons need to start collecting more turnovers to finish 2017 on a high note

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Deion Jones, save us.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons have made everything harder than they need to in 2017, which makes their record all the more remarkable. But few things have been more dispiriting than this team’s lack of turnovers, and the number of unlucky turnovers they’ve had to date.

What the Falcons need, unquestionably, is more plays like Deion Jones’ leaping interceptions, which essentially sealed the victory for them Thursday night. What they do not need is the fumble that they nearly lost on their last drive, or the three Matt Ryan interceptions, regardless of whether you can actually pin those entirely on Ryan or not. That’s the difference between a nail-biting 20-17 win and a big victory that utterly demoralizes New Orleans.

Dan Quinn knows this and noted this earlier this week, but it’s worth taking a moment to acknowledge that Atlanta still has a -5 turnover ratio on the year. Only the Panthers (-6) are legitimate contenders with a worse ratio, and most of your better teams this year have many more turnovers. If Atlanta wants to make a serious push here, especially in the postseason, they’ve got to stop with the costly turnovers and mistakes and start piling them up on the other end.

Fortunately, the next game on the docket comes against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have given the ball away plenty of times in 2017. May they do so again.