The Texans acted first, time for the Falcons to follow suit

488151011 0532 redskins at falcons

Yesterday, the Texans beat the Falcons to the punch and let Bill O’Brien go after an 0-4 start. For those of you who had Dan Quinn as the first coach being fired this year, I’m sorry for your loss. However, despite what some may believe, firing a head coach in the middle of the season isn’t going to give a team a leg up on their coaching search. Most coaches that teams will be interested in are already apart of competitive teams that will be going to the playoffs; they won’t be interviewing for jobs in the middle of the season. Still, that doesn’t mean moving on from Dan Quinn after just four weeks to start the season isn’t the right decision.

You can give Dan Quinn a pass for Week 1. He certainly made some questionable decisions, but overall, the Falcons were a bit outmatched and having no preseason left them with little chance to stop Russell Wilson, who looks like the favorite for the MVP award through four weeks. Weeks 2 and 3, though, were unacceptable, blowing not one but two 15+ fourth-quarter leads to one team that is currently 1-3 and another team that turned to their backup QB. Losing one of those games is embarrassing — but losing both… you could make an argument that Quinn should have been locked out of the team facilities before last Monday morning. However, both of those losses pale in comparison to what I watched last night.

The Falcons went into Green Bay to face the undefeated Packers with their backs against the wall, needing a win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Normally, this would be one of those games on the schedule that you chalk up as a potential loss. However, with everything on the line and the Packers missing so many key pieces on both sides of the ball, it didn’t seem so far-fetched that the Falcons could at least make the game competitive.

Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. It didn’t matter that Aaron Rodgers was without his two top receivers. He made Dan Quinn’s defense look helpless with some backups and practice squad guys. Packer receivers were being left wide open — without a single defender within ten yards at times. And that’s not because the Falcons’ players were overmatched; it’s because the coaches were.

Throughout the night, Matt Lafleur coached circles around Dan Quinn and the rest of the Falcons’ defensive coaches. I could go into specific plays or talk about Quinn’s decisions — like his timeouts before halftime that led to a Packers’ touchdown — but it makes my stomach churn reminiscing in such detail. The fact is, if you watched the game last night, there’s no way you could have thought Quinn will turn this around. It’s well past time to pull the plug on this operation and start from scratch.

When moving on from a coach midseason, my only concern is who will take over as the interim head coach. The Falcons do have two coordinators with head coaching experience in Dirk Koetter and Raheem Morris. However, based on what we’ve seen from them this season, I’m not sure either would be much of an upgrade over Quinn. Still, a message has to be sent that this type of unorganized failure cannot be tolerated. The longer Quinn remains the head coach, the more this losing culture will be viewed as acceptable. His firing is inevitable; it’s time to rip the bandaid off and see if anything productive can come from the next 12 games of the season.

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