3 Arthur Smith decisions that cost the Atlanta Falcons playoff positioning

Los Angeles Chargers v Atlanta Falcons
Los Angeles Chargers v Atlanta Falcons / Adam Hagy/GettyImages
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1. Smith's quarterback management

The only defense of Arthur Smith that makes even a level of sense is that the owner messed with the quarterback position and is giving Smith more space because of it. The chase for Deshaun Watson completely messed up this franchise and rightly so. While Blank could be to blame for this decision it doesn't take the mistakes that followed away from Smith.

First, you have Arthur Smith turning back to his old quarterback who had been benched with the Titans. Marcus Mariota was objectively awful and continued to start despite the product he put on the field. This left the Falcons without enough time to evaluate Desmond Ridder and that is Smith's fault.

Without this evaluation, the Falcons opted to name Ridder the starter the following season without competition or preseason reps. Not having a competition or putting Desmond in the lineup sooner both cost Atlanta what should have been a great playoff season in 2023.

This isn't helped when you look around the league at teams that lost starters to injury or poor play and quickly pivoted. It has been a year of poor quarterback play and it seems every team is actively searching for answers except Atlanta.