Arthur Smith's Atlanta Falcons continued a growing theme of letting close games slip away. At home against Tampa, the Falcons struggled on offense and fell behind by nine early on. This was due to poor play calls and more turnovers from Desmond Ridder.
The game predictably ended with heartbreak for the Falcons with the team roaring back only to let the lead slip away in the game's final seconds. Ridder and the offense had one last gasp but ran out of time with Ridder catching a pass inside the five as time expired.
Atlanta letting leads slip away isn't anything new for this team under Arthur Smith. Atlanta has for far too long been defined as the pure opposite of clutch. The thought in Smith's first two seasons, however, was that this was due to a lack of talent on the roster.
Despite having Matt Ryan in year one, Arthur Smith hasn't had a complete offense or a talented defense in either of his first two seasons. Smith found a way each year to finish with seven wins and keep his team consistently in games.
While this was admirable with those rosters, expectations changed this season with a far more complete roster and their full cap space. Smith's team had an easy schedule, star offensive players, a good DC, solid pass rushers, and a strong interior on both sides of the ball.
All of this has translated to a 6-7 record that includes losses to the Cardinals, Vikings, and a Bucs team that was lost for three quarters. All three of those games are completely winnable with a capable quarterback or a head coach that manages any of the three situations a bit better.
Atlanta finding ways to lose is deeper than simply a quarterback problem. Arthur Smith's offense is broken and seems to only come alive during desperation time or against the league's worst teams. This is a team that not only needs a quarterback but barring winning out should officially consider themselves in the market for a head coach.