Atlanta Falcons Are in Free Fall


The Atlanta Falcons are in free fall, losing four of their last five games to fall to 6-4 on the year. Atlanta started 2015 5-0 under new HC Dan Quinn.

After yesterday’s painful loss to the Indianapolis Colts, we can no longer deny that this isn’t the same Atlanta Falcons team we fell in love at the start of the season. The turnovers on offense aren’t going away and Matt Ryan is having a difficult time in OC Kyle Shanahan’s new offensive scheme. It’s starting to feel like the Atlanta Falcons are in mid-season free fall.

6-4 has never felt worse. This Atlanta Falcons team started 2015 at a 5-0 mark under first year Head Coach Dan Quinn. Atlanta was winning games in the fourth quarter, taking care of the football, and were moving the football methodically through the air and convincingly on the ground.

However, since the Thursday Night Football game in New Orleans Week 6, the Atlanta Falcons have looked more like the 2014 version of themselves: a 6-10 team sitting at home in the NFC Playoffs. Though the Atlanta Falcons still have a one-game lead for the final NFC Wild Card spot, this sure-fired playoff team is playing arguably the worst football of any team in the NFC.

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It’s as if no matter how well prepared the defense and special teams units are entering a weekly matchup, the offense almost always seems to find a way to let the opponent back into games. In the Atlanta Falcons’ last two home games, the Dirty Birds have turned the football over 8 times, 4 times in both losses to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts. Not even the New England Patriots can routinely overcome four turnovers on offense.

Words can’t even describe how bad Matt Ryan’s pick six inside of the Atlanta 20-yard line was to let the Colts tie up the game at 21. That was something a rookie quarterback would do during a two-minute drill. It’ll take weeks to get over how putrid that throw was.

The shame in yesterday’s loss is that the pass rush did a fine job of disrupting Matt Hasselbeck. Atlanta hasn’t had that type of penetration up front in over four years. Hasselbeck threw two picks and the Falcons should have capitalized on those turnovers.

Next: Atlanta Falcons Lose 3rd Straight, 24-21 to Colts

Overall, I thought the defense played well on Sunday. The defensive unit has looked strong for most of season. It has been the offense and the special teams that have let this team down.

Perhaps we got too carried away with how great the Atlanta Falcons looked against a bad NFC East division. Atlanta’s six wins are against the underwhelming NFC East, a miraculously 5-5 Houston Texans team, and a two-win Tennessee Titans team. There aren’t any quality wins on the slate for the Atlanta Falcons.

How is this team going to handle Carolina twice, Minnesota next week, and a .500 Tampa Bay team in a few weeks? The Atlanta Falcons need to snap out of their mid-season funk and they need to do it now.

I had my suspicions about bringing on Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator. Outside of Matt Schaub, quarterbacks don’t exactly thrive in his offense. With the way Matt Ryan played in his first seven years in the league, it seemed improbable that he would regress in a new scheme.

Yet, here we are on another Monday morning what happened to our Atlanta Falcons. Losses are part of the game, but the turnovers and the hesitancy on offense is getting old very quickly. Atlanta still controls its own playoff destiny, but the Atlanta Falcons need to get it together if they want to even sniff the postseason in 2015. There are plenty of teams behind the Falcons in the standings that would love to take their Wild Card spot.