One would think that Arthur Blank would learn from the Atlanta Falcons' past and what happens when you hold onto a head coach longer than you should. Each of Atlanta's last two head coaches was kept long after it was clear a change had to be made. Blank's patience cost the team each time and now that patience could yet again hurt his franchise.
Arthur Smith has all of the tools to turn this season around and clearly has ownership support. I am not sure there is another unproven head coach in this league who could lose the two games Smith just did and retain their job. It speaks to Blank's patience with his coaches and the frustration that it causes for Falcons fans.
While Atlanta fans are stuck with Smith for the time being the goal for the head coach should be clear. Anything short of a 9-10 win season should be looked at as a failure. That many wins will win the division and give the Falcons a playoff spot and a chance to say they took a step forward.
Smith's path to keeping his job should be simple, turn the season around and make the playoffs, or walk away. While Blank has shown belief in Smith not only for this season but moving into 2024 it was noted that if he lost the players it would change things.
Another mediocre season of losing with this easy schedule and division is enough to lose the locker-room. What Smith needs to do to make sure that doesn't happen is exactly what he has failed to do each of the past two seasons. Show a willingness to adjust how you call your offense and force-feed your star players the football.
Find a way to beat New Orleans after the bye and claw your way into at least a wildcard round appearance. This is year three for Smith, and still, the head coach is making rookie mistakes and not using his best weapons. Making the first round of the playoffs and showing offensive adjustments should be the bare minimum of what is needed for Smith to keep his job.