Being aggressive on offense is usually commended in today's NFL. We often hear about analytics and those analytics tend to side with decisions that are deemed as being "aggressive."
The Atlanta Falcons have generally been a team who will take their shots down the field and Arthur Smith has been eager to go for it on fourth down. However, with the way this team is playing, that aggressiveness is hurting the team and things need to change.
Arthur Smith is being too aggressive with this Atlanta Falcons team
Saying a team is "over-aggressive" is usually met with some eye rolls. I get it, we all want to see fireworks and tense moments. But the ultimate goal is to win the game, and being overly aggressive is not going to result in consistent wins for the Atlanta Falcons.
We should know this better than anyone; we lost a Super Bowl because a certain offensive coordinator wanted to pass the ball when the team was already in range of a game-clinching field goal.
Anyways, the Falcons have been led by their defense. Their defense has suffocated opposing offenses when the offense has to go 75 yards to get a touchdown, while they have struggled when the offense only has to go 40 yards. Not surprising.
Arthur Smith going for it on fourth and three early in the game on Sunday was not a good decision. The offense has struggled to pass the ball when the defense knows they are going to pass the ball. He should have punted and he likely would have gotten the ball back not too long after.
All three touchdowns the defense gave up on Sunday came on short fields. When the Washington offense had to start with the ball around their own 25, they scored three points and those three points came on the first drive of the game.
Falcons punter Bradley Pinion has also been a reliable weapon. You can trust him to get the ball inside the 15-yard line. That would allow the defense to do their thing and flip the field for the Falcons offense.
While I cannot say that the Falcons would have won the game if they had been more conservative on Sunday, I can say that the entire team would have played more freely. The team would have been in their element.