The Falcons and Arthur Smith have become a laughingstock and a punching bag for the NFL world. Analysts, reporters, and fans have all taken jabs at the club for their usage of their top 10 picks — Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Bijan Robinson.
According to The Athletic, the Falcons have run 41 plays within the 10-yard line. Three touches have gone to Bijan Robinson, and two have gone to Kyle Pitts on those plays.
“You’re going to call what you think gives you the best opportunity to go score a touchdown,” Arthur Smith said. “There’s a fine line to it about who’s the primary in the passing game and what you’re trying to set up.”
The Falcons rank 25th in scoring, which is even a bit misleading considering they put up a season-high 28 points last week against the Vikings. The red zone struggles, whether it’s turnovers or questionable calls from Arthur Smith, are glaring. Atlanta has kicked 10 field goals to only five touchdowns in the last three games. Younghoe Koo’s 20-made field goals are tied for the most in the NFL.
Somehow, getting the ball to their playmakers, who just so happen to be top 10 draft picks, isn’t in the playbook. Instead, their role is to be a… decoy?
“He played a lot of snaps (against Minnesota), and sometimes, his impact away from the ball can open things up,” Smith said. “For any rookie, the seasons are long. You’re going to have ebbs and flows. We’ll see how this second half of the season goes, but he’s been a huge part of our offense and he’ll continue to be.”
The Falcons usage of their top 10 picks is mind-boggling. Some of that can be attributed to Atlanta’s poor quarterback play, but that once again falls at Arthur Smith’s feet. He’s the one who decided to roll with Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire