Time for the Falcons to part ways with Arthur Smith?

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Coming into Week 15, it looked like Arthur Smith’s job was safe. Jeremy Fowler reported last week that it would probably take some sort of “late-season collapse” for Arthur Blank to consider firing his head coach. But following an abysmal-looking 9-7 loss to the 1-12 Panthers that essentially dashed the Falcons hope at breaking their postseason drought, one has to wonder if we are right in the middle of said “late-season collapse.”

A couple of weeks ago, the Falcons were riding high after a massive win over the Saints, sitting in first place in the NFC South with complete control over their own destiny. A disappointing loss at home to the Bucs put them behind the eight ball a little bit, but their entire season still remained right in front of them with four weeks to play.

That’s no longer the case after losing to the Panthers. Even if the Falcons win out, they’ll need a lot of help from the Saints and Bucs if they want to make the playoffs, and at this point, winning out against the Colts, Bears, and Saints — two of which take place on the road — feels more like a pipe dream.

It actually seems a lot more possible that the Falcons lose out than win out based on what we’ve seen over these last couple of weeks. Desmond Ridder continues to make back-breaking turnover-worthy plays at an alarming rate, and Arthur Smith still hasn’t figured out a way to get his dynamic playmakers the ball consistently. It’s been a recurring theme for the Falcons all season long, and the fact that the same mistakes seem to continue to pop up with every loss lies at the feet of the head coach Arthur Smith, who is staring down the barrel of a third consecutive losing season.

Firing a coach is never an easy decision, and oftentimes owners are too quick to pull the trigger. This was the first season under Arthur Smith where there were real expectations. The Falcons have not lived up to those expectations, but it’s fair to question if more of the blame deserves to be put on the head coach or the quarterback.

Very few coaches would have experienced better results with Ridder under center. He has hamstrung the Falcons more often than not and is not a franchise quarterback. Everyone can see that, but it was Arthur Smith that decided to hitch his wagon to Ridder going into the season, and he may have to pay the ultimate price because of it.

On the latest episode of SportsTalkATL, we are joined by Fox 5’s Falcons reporter Miles Garrett to discuss the state of the team following this embarrassing loss to the Panthers and whether heads will roll because of it.

As always, you can find full episodes of SportsTalkATL on the Fox 5 Local App, available on RoKu, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV. Segments like the one below can also be found on our YouTube channel. Like and subscribe!

Photographer: John Byrum/Icon Sportswire

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