5 trends that continued for the Atlanta Falcons in week 4
The way the Atlanta Falcons lost was simply awful, there is no other way to put it. It was a game the Falcons controlled but made crucial mistakes in the latter parts of the game that really lost it. There is plenty of blame to go around, the defense, the coach, the special teams, injuries, and much more.
It was a week where this team really could have gained ground in the division, they seriously missed a big opportunity.
It felt like a loss that routinely took place under the down years of Dan Quinn, where the offense does enough to win the game but the defense simply cannot stop a nosebleed.
Here are some trends that continued for the Atlanta Falcons team during the week four loss at home.
Arthur Smith’s questionable decisions as the leader of the Falcons
Arthur Smith is the leader of this Atlanta team which means he should be able to be counted on to make the correct decisions in a game. So far in his time as an NFL head coach, he has routinely made head-scratching decisions, and it continued against Washington.
Think back to the game against Tampa Bay, Atlanta had a fourth-and-one near mid-field early in the game, Arthur Smith elected to punt the ball. Many questioned the call at the time, but soon after it became even more questionable.
The Falcons ended up getting into a fourth down and two, this time they elected to go for it. The play call was even more confusing as Matt Ryan ran a quarterback sneak. It made zero sense and was one of a few strange decisions in that game.
Fast forward to this past game against Washington.
Later in the game, Atlanta had a third down and two. Arthur decided to run a vertical with Calvin Ridley, it was very aggressive and was nice to see from a coach who showed no aggression in the past games. It resulted in an incomplete pass. The ensuing play was the strange fourth-down conversion on the roughing the passer penalty.
Then Smith decided to play the game conservatively after he showed that he would make aggressive play calls with shots down the field.
After Washington scored and ended up missing the two-point conversion, Atlanta got the ball back with about three minutes left.
The play calls? A run for negative yards, another run on second down, and then a screen pass on third and long. This was about as conservative as possible, and this is not the way this team can win games.
The defense showed that Arthur Smith cannot afford to play the game like that ever again, as he never should have in the first place.