Arthur Smith arguably just had his worst performance as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. So many things were wrong with the team and it all goes back to the head coach.
While the Falcons aren't going to fire Arthur Smith—and probably shouldn't—it doesn't change the fact that his brain and team were not ready for their week six matchup against the Washington Commanders.
Arthur Smith has worst coaching performance of his career with the Atlanta Falcons
Things looked good early on for the Atlanta Falcons. They were able to limit the Washington offense to a field goal and then their offense came out and scored on their first drive for the first time this season.
Desmond Ridder looked sharp and made an exceptional throw to Kyle Pitts for a touchdown. It looked like the offense was still humming from last week.
Then the issues arose. The offense was stopped on an ugly fourth-down attempt which gave the Commanders a short field. Right before the half, the offense stalled in a situation where they should have been able to get in field goal range, at least.
Then to start the second half, Ridder threw an ugly interception. Later the Falcons appeared to get some momentum as they started making their comeback.
Arthur Smith elected to go for two and didn't get it (a decision that I actually agree with). The Falcons were within eight points and had the ball back on the one-yard line. Then a delay of game happened, a late snap, and a head-scratching interception in the endzone.
It appeared like the plays were not being relayed fast enough, especially on the final drive. The coaches really struggled to get their minds straight late in this game and it was brutal to watch. They made a substitution on a running clock and it wasted way too much time. Things like that just cannot happen.
Little things here and there really added up to make it the worst performance by Arthur Smith we have seen. Play sequencing within the red zone was brutal, calling a toss run on third down when you were planning on going for it on fourth was a small but significant mistake, and, obviously, there was awful clock management.
I also didn't agree with going for it on fourth down early in the game. Washington proved that they couldn't drive the ball down the field (albeit that was proven later) and you ended up giving them excellent field position.
To piggyback off of that, the Commanders scored their three touchdowns on the failed fourth down, the long punt return, and the first Ridder interception. On their drives where they started around their own 25-yard line, they only scored three points which came on the first drive.
Arthur Smith needs to change his mindset about what his team is. This defense is really good while the offense is super inconsistent, sometimes a punt isn't the worst thing.