3. The quarterback situation
It was time for Matt Ryan to move on from Atlanta, however, you chased a franchise legend out of town because you opted to go after Deshaun Watson. Even if you don't fault Smith or Fontenot for chasing Watson let's start from there. In year one you had Franks, Josh Rosen, and Matt Ryan.
Clearly seeing the need for a long-term change moving forward the Falcons opted to draft Desmond Ridder but sign and start Marcus Mariota. Mariota quickly was shown not to be a starting quarterback and still, you start the veteran with a rookie on the bench.
Despite having only four games for Desmond because of Smith's decision the team was sold. So sold in fact they didn't appear to consider any changes. Taylor Heinicke was brought in as the backup but never considered as a starter. Even as Ridder struggled and gave the ball to the wrong team Smith defended his quarterback talking about what a winner Desmond was.
These comments seemed to have little belief behind them as a week later Heinicke was the starter. This was after weeks of laughing at quarterback questions and making it clear Desmond was the starter. Even if you believe that Ridder was replaced due to an injury, Desmond was healthy this week and the backup. Starting Heinicke made it even clearer the problem isn't the quarterback, it's Arthur Smith.