Atlanta Falcons: Is Kyle Shanahan the problem?


The Atlanta Falcons’ offense is in shambles and nobody can pinpoint the reason behind it. You could argue that it’s Matt Ryan’s fault or you could blame it on a lack of wide receiver depth, but could the real problem be coming from the man who is calling the plays?

Falcons’ offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is viewed as one of the best offensive minds in the game of football and got off to a great start as Atlanta’s play caller in 2015, but as of late Shanahan hasn’t put the team in a position to win.

Everywhere Shanahan has gone he has had great success out of the running game. That streak has continued with the emergence of Devonta Freeman who is currently second in the NFL in rushing, but the passing game isn’t something Shanahan has been known for.

Shanahan loves play-action passes, tight ends catching balls and a lot of short, intermediate throws. While that’s all fine and dandy, the Falcons’ current offense is under achieving because of it.

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The Falcons have had one of the leagues’ best receiving corps ever since Julio Jones was drafted, but right now you could argue that their receiving corps is one of the worst in the league. That’s saying something.

If I had to blame someone for the Falcons’ stagnant offense in 2015, I would point the finger at Shanahan, not Ryan. Shanahan is setting Ryan up for failure. When the Falcons run a fast paced offense, that’s when they are at their best. There’s a reason why Ryan is so good late in games. It’s because he has full reign over the play calling and moves as fast as possible.

If you watch the Falcons right now, they aren’t in a hurry to do anything. The play calling is very bland and has led to a lot of check-downs and short crossing routes that just isn’t getting the job done.

The Falcons will continue to struggle on offense until Shanahan gives Ryan the tools to succeed. Give Ryan an up-tempo offense, take some shots down the field and good things will happen. It’s no coincidence that the only Falcons’ only touchdown came when Ryan and the Falcons were fast paced.

Let’s hope that Shanahan and Ryan can get on the same page over the bye week and lift this stagnant offense from the dead or we won’t like how the season comes to a close.