4 Atlanta Falcons that must find a way to step up in week two
By Nick Halden
4. Arthur Smith
This team was elevated by its coaching staff for three quarters against the New Orleans Saints before Pees and Smith started making decisions not to lose. Even if every player delivers against the Rams on Sunday this game is going to be tight both due to the talent the Rams have on their roster and the nature of Atlanta Falcons games.
Smith has to learn from last week and coach this game fearlessly willing to gamble and lose rather than sitting back and making the safe decision that results in another Atlanta loss. Smith has done a great job coaching this team over the last year putting them in a position to win games consistently against better rosters.
The one issue is the same one that plagued the last Falcons regime and that is poor late decision-making that allows late leads to slip away. Whether it is refusing to go for a late fourth down, refusing to push the ball down the field, or playing soft defense this team has taught a master class on how not to handle end-of-game situations.
Atlanta can only win this game if everything is clicking and the coaching staff is willing to take risky decisions and change the way they have approached the end of games over the last year. If that doesn’t happen Atlanta is going to continue to watch late leads slip away until Smith adjusts or Arthur Blank decides it is time to make a change.