The Atlanta Falcons dropped to 6-8 on the season with a loss to the Carolina Panthers. Atlanta has no defense for losing this game. Arthur Smith has found himself in the weakest division in the league given perpetual must-win situations and finding a way to lose each one. This game was ugly from the start and Atlanta managed to score only 7 points but still had control until the final drive of the game.
Carolina's game-winning drive was set up by the all-too-familiar Desmond Ridder interception. On what should have been a put away drive for Atlanta Ridder rolled out and threw a beautiful pass right into triple coverage.
This should be Arthur Smith's final game coaching the Atlanta Falcons not based on this game alone but the totality of the season. There is simply no valid excuse for wasting a good Atlanta defense and continuing to find ways to lose.
Atlanta is now likely out of the playoffs with both the Bucs and Saints winning this weekend. The NFC South is in Tampa's hands for now with Atlanta needing massive help to fight their way back into the playoff race. Smith shouldn't have the chance to finish the year, allow Nielsen a chance to allow this team to finish strong with the reasons for the decision being beyond obvious.