Arthur Smith should no longer coach the Atlanta Falcons after 2023's epic collapse

Fire him. Fire him now.

Atlanta Falcons Training Camp
Atlanta Falcons Training Camp / Edward M. Pio Roda/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Falcons came into 2023 with expectations of winning the division. There was a reason for excitement in Atlanta after Arthur Smith was able to coax some mediocre rosters to win seven games in back to back seasons. However, the Falcons in 2023 are 7-9 at the time of this writing and have shown none of the creative, inspired play-calling that got Arthur Smith the job in the first place. There's been some outside factors that might have made this look like a better team than it showed up to be, but Arthur Smith more or less promised a playoff team, and this likely isn't one.

Before the season when the Falcons lost Charles London on the offensive side of the coaching staff, it didn't seem like that big of a deal, but they never backfilled his position with a new quarterbacks coach. Desmond Ridder showed some fun things in the last four games of 2022, but for whatever reason, not having London as his quarterbacks coach has made his play terrible in 2023. Taylor Heinicke has regressed from what he was as well throwing at well under his career numbers. The Falcons could have been solid this year with better quarterback play, but better quarterback play would have only come from better coaching.

Arthur Smith was supposed to be a genius with play design. But there's just way too much "cuteness" in the offense and not enough what he was brought in here to do—smash teams in the mouth with the running game, run unique play-action plays that create big games and get the ball in the best players' hands every play. By not creating with his play designs and not being able to coach up his quarterbacks into at least a competent level, Smith has led this team down the drain. His offense is only scoring 19 points per game—good for 24th in the NFL. It's only gaining 332.5 yards per game, which is only good for 16th in the NFL. Considering this offense was supposed to be a dynamic, explosive offense, the results are anything but.

His time management is about league average. He has his team wanting to play for him, but even that hasn't been as evident in recent weeks when they basically gave up against the Bears. At a certain point, it's time to pull the plug. On Arthur Smith's experiment with the Falcons, that time is now. Bring in someone who actually runs a coherent offense and is friendly enough with defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen to want to keep the defensive staff in tact, so that they can continue to build off of strides made this year. It's time.

All advanced stats are courtesy Pro Football Focus or Football Outsiders. All traditional stats are courtesy of official team websites, NFLGSIS or CFB Stats. All RAS and athletic testing numbers are courtesy of DraftScout.com and Kent Lee Platte's RAS Football website.