May 26, 2024

Owner Arthur Blank is said to have given head coach Arthur Smith of the Atlanta Falcons a “vote of confidence” in Smith’s ability to keep his job through 2024.

That’s a very kind and giving Christmas sentiment.

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But it’s a sentiment that is ugly and stubborn during playoffs.

Smith’s position is reportedly “safe, barring a late-season collapse.” That’s quite a fudge, considering that this team, which with its 6-8 record, was considered a contender for a (relative) gimme title in the NFC South, is in collapse.

A 6-8 record is poor. Remember?

The final straw, but presumably not the last one? Coach Smith’s team lost 7–6 to the NFL’s worst team, the Carolina Panthers, on Sunday while playing in the rain. The Falcons had a fantastic opportunity to “care” about a game in the rain that nobody seemed to care about, especially not the fans who could still purchase tickets for $10.

They gave the impression that they didn’t. Furthermore, the head coach keeps acting in a way that suggests he doesn’t give a damn.

“We’ll still have that (playoff) opportunity, (but) it’ll look like a long shot,” Smith remarked. But why is it a long shot for a Falcons team that intends to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in six years?

A puzzle for the entire league is Smith’s unwillingness or incapacity to utilize the skills of his last three high-pick, high-profile offensive weapons. That’s correct, Falcons supporters; football enthusiasts from other NFL teams are equally perplexed as you are about Smith’s season-long tendencies regarding his star abilities remaining unaltered, even in the face of the unfortunate Panthers.

Four targets went to Kyle Pitts. Drake London has three objectives. Despite receiving seven carries, Bijan Robinson was only utilized as a lead blocker on one touchdown pass.

When taken as a whole, the careless abuse of that trio in a game where Atlanta only managed six points makes this offense untenable.

 

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