Falcons: Coaching changes are coming

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The Falcons put the icing on the cake to this miserable season by turning in their most lifeless effort of 2019 against the Ravens, matching the intensity of the 20,000-25,000 Falcons fans that actually made it into the stadium. The Falcons- once thought to be high-powered offense- put up an outstanding 87 yards in the first half. They followed that with less than 50 yards in the second half. It was the kind of performance, intensity, and belief in the system that will result in new job searches for several of these coaches.

Owner, Arthur Blank was asked about the coaching staff following Sunday’s loss and he reiterated what he said last week regarding Quinn and Dimitrioff: They are safe.

Now, things can always change. If the Falcons come out with the same type of energy these next four weeks that we saw against the Ravens, Blank might stop feeling so forgiving.

With that being said, this is the correct decision. Quinn and Dimitrioff have been as successful as any coach and GM duo over the last four years- when Quinn was hired. If they lose another game this season, it will be the first time they have had a losing season together. Outside of that, they have come up with three playoff victories, tripling the number of playoff wins Matt Ryan had his entire career prior to Quinn’s arrival. They made it to a Super Bowl, something Atlanta had not experienced since 1998 and won playoff games in back-to-back years for the first time in franchise history. Being employed by the National Football League is cutthroat, but Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff both deserve to right the ship into 2019.

The same cannot be said for the rest of the coaching staff. Blank said those decisions would be up to Quinn and Dimitrioff.

Steve Sarkisian was under a simmering seat heading into the year, and there’s simply no way that seat has gotten any cooler. The Falcons offense had a brief period of success in the first half of the season, but has been a total mess ever since. In four must-win games in a row, Atlanta has failed to score 20 points and lost all of them. It’s clear the Falcons don’t have the quality of talent offensively that they may have expected, but there are no excuses for these types of duds four weeks in a row. Some coaches are going to have to be held responsible, and I don’t see much of a chance Sarkisian is back in Atlanta next year.

Defensive coordinator, Marquand Manuel will be another tough decision for the front office. Manuel was promoted to the DC position after the first year Quinn was in Atlanta. Under Manuel, the defense saw mostly improvements in 2016 and 2017; however, 2018 has been one to forget.

No matter how you look at it, The Falcons have been one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Talent wise, they have been depleted by injuries, losing three of their best players to injured-reserve in the first three weeks. Even the starters who have remained healthy, haven’t lived up to the bill. Statistically, they rank 26th in terms of total yards allowed and 28th in points allowed, giving up nearly four touchdowns a game. Nobody is going to be praising Manuel for the way things have gone, but it’s not as easy to justify firing him given the amount of injuries on the defensive side.

As far as the other members of the coaching staff, they will all be on their heels the final four weeks of the season. When a team with Super Bowl aspirations finds themselves 4-8 twelve games into the season, heads are going to roll. Several will be be getting the axe by season’s end.

 

 

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