Atlanta Falcons: Head coach, Arthur Smith, once again disappoints
The Atlanta Falcons season has been the definition of a rollercoaster, much thanks go to head coach Arthur Smith.
Arthur Smith started the season out with utter disappointment, the team came out flat against the Eagles, as well as his decisions at the end of the first half, and history has once again repeated itself.
Falcons head coach’s decisions at the end of half continue to be questionable
With a minute and 37 seconds to go in the first half, the Atlanta Falcons had the ball on their own side of the field. The defense had just somehow stopped the Panthers’ offense but had proven to not be able to stop them from getting on Atlanta’s side of the field all game long.
Logic would tell you that if your defense has not been able to stop the opposing offense from driving the ball down the field, then when you have the ball you must take advantage.
At this moment in the game, Atlanta had the lead in a 10-6 game.
Arthur Smith, instead of trying to drive the ball down the field to get any points, decides to run the ball despite having timeouts and over a minute and a half to get at least three points.
The first run play resulted in an eight-yard gain by Cordarrelle Patterson, with a respectable gain you would expect to see some type of hurry up so that you could pass the ball down the field. Arthur had other ideas, he proceeded to run the ball once more, resulting in a loss of two yards.
Now the team was trapped in a no-win situation. You want to pass the ball and try to get a first down, but it risks an incompletion causing the clock to stop, or you run the ball but then Carolina will just use one of their timeouts and get the ball back.
At least Smith showed a little aggressiveness by throwing the ball, but it did not work out as Matt Ryan had to scramble and almost lost the ball. Carolina used one of its timeouts, while Colquitt proceeded to punt the ball for 51 yards.
Sam Darnold took his team down the field and got them in position to kick a 57-yard field goal, which they made.
That is when it felt like the momentum shifted in the game and it was due to Arthur Smith and his horrendous management of the game.
You simply do not decide to run the ball when the Panthers have timeouts and have had no resistance from the Falcons defense outside of the red zone. To be a coach in the NFL you must know your team and be aggressive, two things that Smith seemed to not understand.
It even exacerbates it when all this came in a crucial game against an NFC South rival.
This must change soon, perhaps he just does not trust the offensive line—because he should not—but he should leave everything he has out on the field, be as aggressive as rationally possible.
Arthur Smith’s game management is sorely lacking right now, it must improve or he will never get this team to where he wants them to go.