Angry Birds?

If there’s anyone that’s the biggest question mark in the National Football League now, it’s the Atlanta Falcons without hesitation. I’ve tried to defend them week in and out and they just continue to let me down on a consistent basis. Just three seasons ago, they had one of the best records in the NFC with a week off in the playoffs and they breezed through the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers to win the NFC for the first time since the 1998-99 season. As we all remember, they were on the wrong end of history in Super Bowl 51 when they gave up the 25-point lead. Since then, they’ve made the playoffs only once. Last season, they were decimated by the injury bug with key guys missing time. This year, you’d think they would take advantage of the division especially with the Saints not having Drew Brees. It’s been the complete opposite. Right now, the Falcons sit in the basement of the NFC. So, what’s wrong with the Falcons? Let’s talk about it.

I want to start with their offense. There’s no excuse that they should be struggling with all the weapons they have. Matt Ryan was paid to win football games, not be inconsistent. He has one of the two best wide receivers in Julio Jones, a solid second option in Calvin Ridley, a chain mover in Mohamed Sanu and a nice tight end over the middle in Austin Hooper. A few weeks back, I claimed that they should go back to running Devonta Freeman and good things will happen if they consistently run the football but it’s almost as if he’s just a forgotten piece to their offensive attack. Look back at the year when they won the NFC. They displayed a lot of balance throughout that year, now that’s completely out the window. The offensive line is also struggling to keep the quarterback protected but some of that is also Matt’s fault because he’ll either hold onto the ball too long or he’ll throw it into double or triple coverage, and it’s get picked. I think the offense can turn things around if they show more effort and put their minds to it.

My biggest concern with them is their defense and the lack of effort they’ve shown this year. This starts with the Minnesota game in week one. Dalvin Cook ran all over them and they did absolutely nothing to stop it. I’ve seen efforts where the defense struggles to make stops, but they at least try to attempt to tackle, the Falcons don’t. The pass rush is flat, they can’t cover in the flat and the secondary is getting torched left and right. Last year, they had some of the same issues because many of their key players were out with injuries (Deion Jones and Keanu Neal). Deion is back and unfortunately, Keanu reinjured himself. Dan Quinn is a defensive minded guy, this is unacceptable. If the Falcons fail to qualify for the post-season this year, I think it’s time for them to let Dan go and get someone else in there to coach the team.