1. Quarterback management
The power structure in Atlanta is a bit confusing with it unclear who really holds the most decision-making power between Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith. The moves at quarterback would suggest at the very least that Smith has the loudest voice in the room. Write off the Matt Ryan decision as a consequence of Arthur Blank chasing Deshaun Watson.
It was a terrible decision and one that deserved what the Falcons have gotten at the position since. However, Smith brought in his former starter Marcus Mariota and clearly was unable to get the level of play expected. To make matters worse Smith stuck with Mariota for far too long to completely evaluate Desmond Ridder.
Despite this, Smith opted to put his full support behind Desmond. The head coach barely played his quarterback in the preseason and didn't have a competition of any kind at the position. Taylor Heinicke was brought in knowing he would be the backup option. This series of decisions at the position with each quarterback getting worse and turning the ball over at a high rate speaks to their lack of talent as well as how poorly they were managed by Smith. Smith's only excuse here is if Blank or Fontenot were the ones pulling the strings at the position. Otherwise, this alone is more than enough to move on.