3 Atlanta Falcons that must improve to keep playoff hopes alive

Atlanta Falcons v New York Jets
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3. Arthur Smith

Arthur Smith should already be in the job market searching for a new landing spot as an OC. We have spent extensive time covering why that is and Arthur's failures to adjust this season. Now Smith has gone back on what he said about managing the quarterbacks to end the year.

Heinicke starting speaks to the desperation level of the head coach. Is he desperate enough to re-think the passing game and give the ball to his star players? Does he have enough trust Heinicke to test the Colts' secondary or will Atlanta be focused on the run game?

The answers to these questions will determine both Smith's own fate and that of Atlanta's season. There is an argument to be made that losing this game is what is best for the franchise. Parting ways with their current quarterbacks and head coach would be a much-needed reset.

It is safe to believe for Smith to save his job Atlanta needs to win out and make the playoffs. Even in that case there is an argument that the franchise needs to move on. But with a historically patient owner, it will take losing this game and at least one of the next two to lock in Smith's fate.