Atlanta Falcons have to find their identity before it’s too late
Through three games this season, the Atlanta Falcons have accrued two bad losses. This isn’t college football, so we aren’t talking about losing to an unranked team. It’s how they’ve played in their two road games this year.
Against Minnesota, the Atlanta Falcons were blitzed from the go and never recovered. After going down 28 points, they mustered all of 12 for the game. Against the Colts, a very similar story. They took a 20-3 deficit into halftime.
Where to begin? The Falcons have now dropped 15 of their 17 matchups versus the Colts all time. Unbelievable. In today’s game, they had the better team. Between injuries and skill, they failed to perform.
Now, for the fun stat- 16 penalties for 128 yards. That’s not a typo. That’s enough yardage in penalties to go all the way down the field and turn around and come back down. And it’s not just the number that’s troubling, it’s the timing.
The Falcons defense committed a number of penalties that extended Colts drives when they needed to get off the field. Free first downs. That’s how you lose games regardless of the competition.
That’s an identity problem. That’s focusing on details. It’s putting your second-year cornerback in a position where he’s trusting his skill and not grabbing. Oh, and Oliver was the unfortunate victim on a broken coverage that essentially sealed the game.
And then the injury bug reared his head for the second season in a row for Keanu Neal. It looks like an Achilles issue and if so, that’s two lost seasons for a guy who can be a game-changer. And oh gee, Kemal Ishmael is the next best option.
There are plenty of questions for the coaches to answer. Remember those ungodly amounts of running backs the Falcons kept, well two of them of were inactive today after the Falcons lost Ito Smith. And Kenjon Barner has yet to accrue a carry coming out of the backfield.
It’s not all bad news as the offense caught fire in the second half but it was too little too late. We already know Julio is the best in the game and he balled, so did Hooper who had a career day, and Freeman looked half-decent.
Returning home against Tennessee, the Falcons have to get things corrected. After the Titans, the Falcons get Houston and Arizona before the Rams come to town. The Falcons can’t afford any more slip-ups before then. If there were any time to when three in a row, that time is now.