Falcons fans experienced a bit of a reality check this past week, as Atlanta could only muster 13 points against the reeling Panthers. Arthur Smith looked to get his team over .500 for the first time since 2017, but Carolina dominated the Falcons in the trenches. It has been an up and down year for fans.
To open the season under the new regime, the Falcons were slaughtered by the Eagles. Since then, the Falcons incrementally improved. The final score of the Buccaneers game the week after the dismal performance against Philadelphia wasn’t indicative of the improvement from week to week. Atlanta would go on to win three out of their next four, sitting at .500. The offense seemed to have found a rhythm, as the offensive line gelled to protect Matt Ryan, and the defense improved by coming up with a handful of timely stops.
All of that seemed to have gone out the window last week against the Panthers. Atlanta’s offense could barely muster 200 total yards, as Kyle Pitts went from 282 yards the previous two weeks to just 13 yards against Stephon Gilmore and Carolina’s defense. The Falcons were disappointing in all three phases, as the all-reliable Younghoe Koo even missed a field goal that really shifted the momentum to Carolina.
Now, the Falcons sit one game under .500 with the trade deadline looming, and the question remains if the Falcons should be sellers. Terry Fontenot has to know this roster is talent deficient; even if they’re competing in some games, the Falcons will not win anything worthwhile with this personnel. The salary cap is a mess, and the Falcons need as much draft capital as possible.
It makes sense for the Falcons to part ways with players who aren’t a part of the long-term picture. Even though the Falcons don’t have much of a pass rush as it stands, Dante Fowler Jr. has to be one of those players the Falcons could dangle in front of some playoff-caliber teams. Hayden Hurst has also been brought up in conversations, but the Falcons seem fine where they stand.
More than likely, the Falcons will stand pat as the deadline comes and goes.