The Falcons missed the playoffs, but they're still improving their takeaways
The Falcons were eliminated from playoff contention in Week 11 when they lost to the Saints. In the last three games, they have recovered eight fumbles and racked up four interceptions.
The fumbles were forced by cornerback Desmond, Trufant, strong safety William Moore and their defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux. They had critical roles in those plays. During the win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday, they were the ones who intercepted 2 of the passes and recovered 5 fumbles.
The Falcons have improved in that area but there is a reason the team didn’t make it to the playoffs and that is simply they were not good enough. Although the defense has shown to be capable of improving, there are still things that need to be addressed and that made Smith stop short of giving too much credit to the defense as they are still prone to making mistakes.
When the season began, the Falcons were on the fourth number as the worst team in the NFL for turnover average. Smith said that the problem lay in their lack of offensive plays and the average stats simply spoke that they had to do something about it.
"The first (point of emphasis) is winning the turnover battle and the second one is winning the explosive battle," Smith said. "You put those two things together, and it's the toxic differential that you look at. More times than not, the teams that are in the top 12, most of those teams are in the playoffs."
Trufant made quite a stupid mistake when he allowed Pierre Garcon to make a 53 yard touchdown and that just goes to show the team doesn’t just make mistakes when they have been outplayed but simply make mistakes due to lack of training.
"If you're getting beat on a double cut and you're going to hold the defender, make sure you hold him good where he doesn't still get a chance to catch the football," Smith said. "You take the 5-yard penalty on the defense."