28-3… This cursed score has haunted the Atlanta Falcons ever since blowing the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots back in 2016.
In 2017, they rebounded nicely and made the playoffs at 10-6, but were pounded by the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card round.
In 2018, injuries and poor execution drowned them to a 7-9 record, causing them to miss the playoffs.
This year the Falcons are a basement NFL team. They are currently sitting at 3-9, the bottom of their division, and have the 2nd worst record in the NFC. It’s among the 5 worst records in football ahead of Sunday’s games. Since losing to the Super Bowl to the Pats, the Falcons have a record of 20-24.
They have lost familiar faces to free agency and injuries have been relevant, but the true red flag is the disappearance of Matt Ryan. Ryan is obviously a starter in the NFL still, nobody is arguing he is not. However, Ryan is 5 interceptions away from hitting his season-high with still 4 games left to play. He also has 8 fumbles this year and had 10 last year. The only time Ryan has had over 6 fumbles prior to the last 2 years was in 2015 (12).
In last night’s game against the New Orleans Saints, Ryan threw 2 interceptions and fumbled it twice. He lost one of the fumbles on the last chance the Falcons had to get into the game, sealing the win for the Saints.
The offense has always been must-see TV and the defense was a staple in previous years to attest how good this team was, but it just has not come together the past couple of seasons. We are starting to see fingers being pointed at Dan Quinn. According to USA Today, “He acknowledged Sunday that he’s delegated some defensive playcalling duties over the last two weeks, a move that hasn’t worked particularly well considering the Falcons gave up 34 to the Cardinals and couldn’t do much to stop the Rams.”
Many are starting to believe it is going to be a when for the firing of Quinn, not an if. Maybe it is coaching, maybe it is personnel, but this season is a wash for the Falcons and until something is changed, the future looks pretty grim.
They made Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Devonte Freeman very rich men. Are we starting to see the consequences of that? The offense hasn’t been what it was during the Super Bowl run and now they are struggling to put together a great defense because of the offensive contracts they inked. It will be interesting to see how the Falcons move forward.
Here is a clip from last night’s game exemplifying how the Falcons’ season is going: