Atlanta Falcons: Grading the offense at Falcons bye week

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Jun 17, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan coaches during minicamp at Falcons Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports


Weeks 1-4: A
Weeks 5-9: C
Overall: B

Coaches come under heavy scrutiny by fans, particularly when things are going wrong. The same can be said of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who was praised early on for the addition of his zone-blocking scheme, but is now under criticism for the Falcons’ offensive struggles.

I’ll start by saying I don’t believe the problems fall entirely on his shoulders. As I’ve written many times, Shanahan wasn’t the one who fumbled the snaps or handoffs, or the one who stared down receivers too often and made poor throws. Shanahan aims to put the players in the right position to succeed, but it’s down to them to execute the plans.

Having said that, there are areas of concern with the style Atlanta has been playing. Shanahan has succeeded in giving the Falcons a legitimate run game, and he has extracted the best out of second-year Devonta Freeman. But balance on offense has become an issue in recent weeks. In the past three games, the Falcons have had 128 pass attempts to 72 runs. This needs to change.

Outlook: Shanahan needs to help Matt Ryan spread the ball around and get the best out of a talented group of receivers. There needs to be more balance on offense with a bigger commitment to the run, and this includes seeing more from rookie Tevin Coleman, who has, fumble aside, looked good when called upon.

Next: Quarterbacks