2. Smith's management of the quarterback position
It isn't a coincidence that after Arthur Smith took over Matt Ryan had the worst year of his career. This was quickly followed by Smith and the Falcons pushing the veteran out of Atlanta. His replacement was veteran Marcus Mariota. A clear downgrade but at least the quarterback was expected to open up the run game for the Falcons.
Mariota had the worst stretch of his career as well under Smith and was benched choosing to leave the team. Desmond Ridder took over for the final four games and looked average but was Smith's chosen starter for the 2023 season. Desmond found his way to the top of the league in turnovers and Arthur Smith benched his quarterback in favor of veteran Taylor Heinicke.
Heinicke looked like a worse version of the quarterback we watched in Washington and clearly wasn't the answer either. That is three veteran starters all that clearly have looked worse after being paired with Arthur Smith. Add in Ridder's struggles and perhaps it isn't the quarterbacks that are the problem but the system and play-calling of Arthur Smith.