The Atlanta Falcons (4-4) lost another one in Charlotte on Sunday. Unfortunately, losing wasn’t all that surprising. It was how they lost that was in fact surprising.
Nobody wants to read negative stuff about their favorite teams. It’s true. At (4-4), the season is only half over for the Atlanta Falcons, and the 2nd half could yield positive things. Even playoff positive things. But let’s not be delusional. Let’s also not be naïve. This first half of the season has been a disaster. This Carolina loss was an exposition of that disaster.
The Falcons jumped out to their customary early lead only to lose that lead and lose the game against Carolina. It was familiar. It was unsettling.
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Steve Sarkisian has taken a fair amount of heat this year for play calling. Rightfully so, in this writer’s opinion. There is always a transition period, and that is to be expected, but not getting the ball to Julio Jones 6-9 times a game is just silly.
The problem with that analysis, though, is that they did get the ball to Jones Sunday. He just dropped the ball, twice, in the end zone. He was also uncovered. If Julio Jones is dropping passes in the end zone, ATL has no chance. You need your beast to be a beast. Especially, when the rest of the team is struggling.
But that gets past Xs and Os. It gets to something larger than that. This team just doesn’t look right. The Offense sputters into sporadic execution with way too many 3 and outs. The Defense, even more surprisingly, looks slower and less physical than last year.
This season is only half over. This isn’t, by any means, a postmortem. In fact, with slightly better execution, and a little bit of momentum, our beloved Atlanta Falcons can still win the NFC South Division. The pieces are there.
But let’s call it the way it is. The first half of 2017 has been underwhelming. If there is going to be a momentum shift, it has to happen soon. Soon, as in Sunday soon.