The Falcons aren’t any good in 2011. They never were and they lost to another good team. The truth hurts and the truth says that this team is nothing better than average and a team that can merely get in the playoffs on a regular basis because they sure as the hell can’t do anything once they’re there. They didn’t beat a good team all year besides Detroit and they failed yet again in the playoffs. No more excuses are to be had and what other proof does Arthur Blank need to know that serious changes need to be in order after 4 years of a “process” and you can’t win one playoff game or even score any offensive points for that matter. There’s really nothing else to say.
It’s hard to imagine that Mike Mularkey will be a part of the Atlanta Falcons organization much longer. Yes, he’s done some good things and helped to stabilize this franchise and while it may not be all his fault, ultimately it is his responsibility to have a productive offense with so many weapons at his disposal. Zero points in the first half against an average defense. He may get a head coaching job and everyone wishes him the best, but his time as the Falcons offensive coordinator should be over.
Even though some will say the defense did it’s part early on, Brian Van Gorder doesn’t deserve another year either based on his summative resume as his time in Atlanta. While it’s unlikely that Dimitroff and the rest in the front office will elect to get rid of both coordinators in one off-season, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. The Falcons defense has underachieved every year and can’t stop anyone on 3rd down hardly ever, as witnessed when Hakeem Nicks took a simple crossing route and took it to the house past like 6 Falcons defenders. Year 4 of the “process” and the Falcons need a complete overhaul on the coaching staff, including the defensive coordinator as well.
This team was never any good and could never beat anybody worth anything and this was a perfect ending to this season. The season was a complete bookend with them being outclassed in Chicago to open the season and them being embarrassed yet again in the playoffs. They couldn’t even score any offensive points against the Giants, the same way they couldn’t score any offensive points against the Bears to open the season. They beat one playoff team all year in the Detroit Lions and were 0-5 against the rest (Saints x 2, Packers, Texans, Giants). Anyone who expected this team do suddenly transform and be above average was delusional. Some fans will even be thankful that this merciless season of underachievement has finally come to a close.
Yes, he’ll be back and his resume deserves that, but for all the success he’s had during the regular season, he’s 0-3 in the playoffs and for all the talk of “learning from his playoff losses,” he obviously has not. He deserves a chance to prove himself again, but much of the ability to designate the staff should be taken out of his hands. Another year of major underachievement next year may put his future in doubt going forward.
Where do the Falcons go from here in terms of personnel? Surely, a new offensive coordinator will bring a new system to town because the current one just didn’t work. You can’t call yourselves a power running team when you can’t get a yard several times throughout the year to make the difference in a game. Currently, the front office is pretty limited in terms of cap space and have many free agents to either re-sign or let go and much of that will determine what direction this team takes. Some fans even favor just blowing up most of the roster and starting over.
Should the Falcons keep Abraham for 8+ million? What about Turner? Should they hang onto him in his final year of his contract when he obviously is on the downside of his career? Surely, they must re-ink Grimes, but how much will he ask? Is Ovie Mughhelli worth all that money? Who will they bring back who are slated to become free agents between Jason Snelling, Harry Douglas, Kroy Biermann, Curtis Lofton, Thomas DeCoud, Will Svitek, and so on? They have no 1st round draft pick to hang their hats on either. Major decisions for Thomas Dimitroff in absolutely his biggest off-season as Atlanta Falcons General Manager.