Atlanta Falcons interim head coach Raheem Morris clearly isn’t the guy.
You have to give Raheem Morris credit for the situation he was handed with the Atlanta Falcons but Sunday’s game versus the Lions was a clear indication he isn’t the guy.
Look, Atlanta’s season was over before it began.
Dan Quinn was the one tasked with getting them to the playoffs, he knew going into the year it was a winning record or bust and failed to get them off to a good start. So he was fired, rightfully so.
Raheem Morris’ mandate was much different. All he had to do was show improvement, win some games, and be competitive at the very least.
When you make a change you want to see a change on the field. The Falcons still blew a late-game lead, albeit just six points, their defense still couldn’t get a stop when they needed to, and ultimately they lost the game.
Dan Quinn could’ve done that just fine.
Morris’ role in this can’t be understated. After winning his first challenge he made a very questionable decision to throw his challenge flag the second time on a clear completion from Stafford to one of his top receivers late in the game.
That cost Atlanta a timeout. The Falcons also gave the Lions a second chance at points as Deion Jones couldn’t get off the field in time. That’s sloppy coaching and personnel management.
Bad decision making by coaches cost the Atlanta Falcons again.
Morris also decided to go for it on fourth and five instead of taking points. That would’ve put the Atlanta Falcons up 17-13 and forced the Lions to need a touchdown. Instead, the Falcons went for it, didn’t get it and the Lions took the lead 16-14. That one point swing was ultimately the difference as the Falcons lost by one.
And then with the Falcons driving, well in field goal range, Todd Gurley crossed the goal line and ultimately gave the Lions another chance. You can’t be mad at Gurley for that at all, but instead of calling a run play where that had the potential to happen, just have Matt Ryan take a knee! That’s coaching.
Morris stated in his post-game press conference that they knew Detroit was going to let Gurley score, so knowing that why not just have Matt Ryan take a knee? It was a first down and Detriot had no timeouts. A 30-yard field goal is well within range for Younghoe Koo.
Overstepping a coordinator in crucial moments is something that Dan Quinn would never do and that was a big part of his lack of success. Morris showing those same qualities is not what this franchise needs.
He has expressed confidence in Dirk Koetter as the offensive coordinator, Koetter’s play-calling was horrendous Sunday and has been for a while.
But it’s a team game for a reason. Morris was the defensive coordinator under Quinn. He coached an atrocious unit. And we still see the remnants of that.
While he is no longer the primary defensive play-caller, there have been no adjustments or upgrades. There is no reason why a defense shouldn’t be able to prevent an offense from driving 75 yards with ease to win the game with about a minute left.
Morris didn’t have to go undefeated during this run, he didn’t even have to make the playoffs but he had to prove the Falcons wouldn’t fall prey to the same ways of losing they have been for the past two years.
Losing Sunday’s game at home showed that isn’t going to be the case.