Perhaps the Atlanta Falcons staff and their fans were wrong about this team. Everyone looks that roster and thinks, on paper, this team should be competing for a Super Bowl.
But maybe the Atlanta Falcons aren’t as talented as we thought? They are the embodiment of nearly every cliche when it comes to evaluating teams.
“You are as good as your record.” “What have you done for me lately?” Even the late Dennis Green can sum this one up, “they are who we thought they were.”
And no one can quite figure out who the Atlanta Falcons are. So let’s think. You have the unquestionable greatness of Julio Jones. In fact, he may be lone for sure Hall of Famer on this team. Outside of him and Matt Ryan, where’s the talent that is supposed to win double-digit games?
Falcons fans and national pundits’ expectations were maybe too high for what the talent on this team has shown.
Look at the secondary for starters. Depth was always going to be an issue with this unit. The team splurged on running backs and didn’t address the area where they needed to.
And it’s shown. Isaiah Oliver has been victimized, Keanu Neal is done for the season, and there is no quarterback or wide receiver combination in the NFL afraid of Desmond Trufant. Keep in mind, the Falcons made their Super Bowl run without him.
Trufant isn’t a shutdown corner, he just isn’t the worst on the field. He rarely shadows the other team’s best player due to scheme, and if you were a quarterback, you’d pick on Oliver and the rookies too. That’s who the Falcons are turning to now, rookies: Kendall Sheffield and Jordan Miller.
Offensively, Devonta Freeman is no longer the best running back on the team, though he is by far the highest-paid. Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu can make plays, but you take Julio off the field and defenses just aren’t threatened by them.
Teams are willing to stack the box. Heck, I’d make the Falcons offensive line and Sanu and Co. beat me too.
Coach Dan Quinn’s scheme has come into question and rightfully so. But Quinn has to develop a perfect scheme to match the talent or lack of on this team. At some point, even if the coaching is poor, players make plays and most of the time, the best team wins.
The Falcons don’t have enough of that talent or proper coaching to win games in the NFL. Don’t let the high priced contracts fool you. The lack of true game changers and a stale scheme have led this team to a 1-4 start. And games aren’t played on paper, they’re played on the field. (Another cliche for you.)
Trades don’t happen in the NFL like they do in other leagues. And since the talent isn’t changing, it’s time for the coaching and adjustments to.