Atlanta Falcons Humiliated by Bucs

Falcons Effort Simply Indefensible

Insert Favorite Comment Here (K. Klement)

We’re running out of synonyms for the word in embarrassment when describing the Falcons playing football. It seems as though the efforts by the Falcons can’t get any worse and they find a way every single week. This time it was one of the worst teams in the NFL (record-wise at least, that title now belongs to us) and we didn’t get beat, but blown out and embarrassed yet again. Out of 10 games played at this point, four of them have been blowouts, with two coming at the hands of our own rivals. The point spread for the upcoming Saints game might be 70+. It’s fairly obvious to even the least interested of fans that this team has given up.

Same Song and Dance (K. Klement)

There is literally no hope to be found anywhere at this point except maybe that the Falcons are neck and neck with the Jaguars (guess where their GM came from?) for the #1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. If the Bucs game was the most likely game the Falcons could win left on the schedule, how’s the future look now? Arthur Blank came out and said that both Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitroff will be back in 2014. I pity the people working in marketing and advertising for the Atlanta Falcons. To the boat-sink that was……

Smith has Lost This Team

Par for the Course (AJC)

Let’s stop hinting around the edges and call it like it is: the Falcons head coach has lost this team. We can hear all day long from the organization itself, the players, the coaches, and the local media that the team hasn’t quit on this season, but actions speak louder than words. Fans point to the 2007 season as an all-time low with the Mike Vick dogfighting debacle and the liar scumbag Bobby Prictrino leaving in the middle of the night as the pinnacle of awfulness, but that team went 4-12 and showed some pride, even beating the playoff bound Seattle Seahawks in the last game of the season. That team looks like the Ice Bowl Packers compared to this team. They are lifeless and seem ready to quit and pack their bags for vacation today. They can’t block, they can’t tackle, they can’t catch, they can’t throw (unless it’s to the other team), they can’t coach, and they sure as the hell can’t even compete, much less win. Everyone associated with the Falcons organization should be ashamed for the product their putting on the field on a weekly basis. A team in seeming ruins with a rookie quarterback, 4th string running back, and a head coach seemingly doomed at year’s end just completely annihilated the team that talked about going to the Super Bowl. This team has no more fight and it shows.

Past Success vs. Future Potential

Rainey = Emmitt Smith (R. Matay)

Visionary leaders, on the football field and off, understand that past success has no bearing on future success. The Falcons top brass should look at their own situation with being a few yards from a Super Bowl and now being arguably the worst team in the NFL less than a year later. Arthur Blank already felt the need to publicly say, at least essentially, that both Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitroff will be returning in 2014. It may work out, but good luck finding many fans who will believe it. The two lines of defense that have been trotted out on a daily basis is #1) injuries and #2) Smith and Dimitroff have led the Falcons to the best run in franchise history (not the highest of comparative achievements considering the Falcons lowly history).

And there’s no denying that fact. They have done a good job in the past. But that past success has no bearing on future success. Only processes and people that seek perfection while always looking for improvements matter. While there’s not arguing the past success that Smith has had, many of those were games that the Falcons barely squeaked by at the last second. Nick Saban calls “playing poorly and still winning the kiss of death.” Looks as though that’s ringing particularly true in a bad way for the 2013 Falcons. Even though past success, or “the whole body of work” as Smith and Dimitroff call it, should be a factor, that also should be weighed against future potential. What potential or shred of hope can Blank or the fans hang their hat on looking at this team? That’s not an enviable position to be in.

Per the Falcons D: Bobby Rainey = Barry Sanders; Mike Glennon = Johnny Unitas

Bucs Just Scored Again (B. Blanco)

The dead horse has been beaten to a pulp, but this defense continues to amaze. They find ways, any way possible, to make every offense they play against look like Hall of Famers. This time up it was 4th string running back Bobby Rainey and he made the Falcons defense look downright silly, rushing for 165 yards and two touchdowns. And brand new rookie Mike Glennon? 20/23, 231 yards passing, and 2 touchdowns. The Bucs defense has always been good, but they made the Falcons look as bad as they have all year, and that’s saying something. Amazing what teams who build from the inside out (Gerald McCoy, Adrian Clayborn) can accomplish. This from a team who had not won a game as of a week ago at this time. For all the early talk of which teams had quit on their coach and the season, they got it wrong when they said the Bucs instead of the Falcons.

How Many Season Ticket Holders Can Justify this Product?

While it’s certainly Blank’s prerogative to do as he sees fit with his team, it’s also Atlanta Falcons fans to do as they see fit with their money. Even though emotions can run high after losses and overall poor seasons such as this, most are objective and rational when it comes to renewing or buying season tickets. Especially after stepping away from the season for a month or so when most renewals are done. Many fans have had no issue renewing their tickets because this team has always been competitive, even in losses.

Good Tackling as Always (A. Messerschmidt)

The Falcons simply didn’t get blown out with very few exceptions, but the last four games have been shameful blowouts, and we’re not talking all the best of the best, but rather the Cardinals, Panthers, and Bucs. And of course the Seahawks that are obviously legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Times are tough and fans don’t have problems spending money on a product they think is worthwhile. How can fans justify that when they know, at least according to Blank, that no major changes are ahead for 2014. Throw in the fact that any common fan sees a major rebuild coming and even more vets getting a year older (Roddy White, Steven Jackson, Osi Umenyiora, Asante Samuel, Justin Blalock, Jonathan Babineaux) and no Tony Gonzalez, and the incentive to buy isn’t very attractive. Fans are loyal and love their team, but that doesn’t mean they will blindly spend money on a poor product.

Is Another 2012 Offseason on the Way?

Since Blank has already said that the two biggest changes won’t occur with Smith or Dimitroff, than logical sense has to see some sort of change (some see sweeping changes) on the way to restock fan’s confidence. After the 2011 playoff Meltdown in the Meadowlands, arguably the biggest changes happened or were made to happen: offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, and offensive line coach were relieved or “found other jobs.” They also found new a new QB coach and even changed the strength and conditioning coach since then as well. AJC columnist Mark Bradley thinks they’ll be sweeping changes outside of Smith and Dimitroff and he may well be right. As the season looks to finish at 2-14, it’s hard to ask your fans to believe in the future with only a few minor tweaks. Will both coordinators be shown the door again? Will there be yet another OL coach or a defensive line coach? If this happens, it will reek of desperation and creating more scapegoats. It worked pretty well in 2012 when they almost got to the Super Bowl, but is this any way to operate: making all tertiary changes instead of the big ones? Stay tuned.

Not Solely, but Ryan Shares Blame

Yes, Jacksonville has one less win, but if pressed on who’s playing the worst of all 32 teams right now, who would be picked? That’s as easy as a Matt Ryan interception or offensive line missed block. No one escapes blame. And that includes the mega-million QB. Yes, he’s got a terrible OL, but he’s the one making the big bucks and he should be finding a way to do better, or demand better from his head coach, general manager, or owner. It’s an epic total team fail, but Ryan is the QB and the one who signed a huge contract, whether it’s fair or not. This year can be chalked up in many ways, but this better be the worst year of his career. Excuses only go so far when you’re one of the highest paid players in the game.

652 comments Add your comment

JB Falcon

November 17th, 2013
10:08 pm

Had to bring this over as the last post on the other blog. It is important.
“IF” while you are on this blog you get any kind of message the says you need to download it “now” and you cannot close it, just close the site, which it will not allow, so hit CtRL. ATL, DEL and get out. The engineers on the AJC are idiots and should not allow this to happen.

af fan

November 17th, 2013
10:09 pm

“Falcons Effert Simply Indefensible”

Fundamental responsibilityof the coach is to get his team ready to play.

Coaching has failed the last 4 games.

If coach doesn’t fix it, he won’t be here next year.

Who will be the next man up (coach)???

Wings

November 17th, 2013
10:24 pm

ESPN:
Most figure the Falcons might target an offensive lineman in the draft. They’ve already added one veteran when tackle Sean Locklear signed last week coming off an ACL injury. Locklear was inactive on Sunday.

Or maybe a punter. There seems to be no logic involved in decisions.

PoolerSpirit

November 17th, 2013
10:27 pm

SW… Have you heard this yet?

(Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome was taken to a local hospital in an ambulance following Sunday’s 23-20 loss to the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

The Ravens released a brief statement Sunday night.

“Ozzie Newsome did not feel well after today’s game and a team doctor recommended that Ozzie not fly tonight,” the statement read.)

Wings

November 17th, 2013
10:32 pm

An article that makes sense and sounds great!!!

Falcons’ Blowout Loss to Bucs Should Be Nail in Mike Smith’s Coaching Coffin
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1854448-falcons-blowout-loss-to-bucs-should-be-nail-in-mike-smiths-coaching-coffin

Arno

November 17th, 2013
10:46 pm

I am a Ryan fan. Ryan has tried to perform conscientiously in a flawed system. Now he is showing damage. That last INT revealed not aggressiveness, but an example of just not caring anymore. If that’s the case, it’s a dangerous precedent. It’s hard to recover edge and passion once it’s compromised.

af fan

November 17th, 2013
11:09 pm

Wings,

An article that speaks reality.
One of coach Smith’s strenghts was he could get his team ready to play.
Coach Smith has clearly demonstrated that he has lost that ability.

I don’t care what Mr. Blank said today.

The Atlanta Falcons will have a new head coach come 2014.
The offensive and defensive lines have sealed his fate.

F14

November 17th, 2013
11:24 pm

It doesn’t matter if MS is a good coach or not anymore. He lost this team and players won’t forget and won’t trust him next season as they trusted him before. MR2 does his best to lead the team but he is not that leader we hoped he would become. The puppeteers don’t see any reason to respect fans = customers. I hope Falcons fans will respond accordingly.

Evan Torch

November 18th, 2013
12:41 am

We can’t switch owners, unfortunately, and NFL owners are billionaires who are NEVER wrong to any of their synchophants and lackeys.
Blank has to admit to a lot of mistakes and I’ve never heard him admit any yet. Here comes the injuries / new draft pick ploy.

Eric C.

November 18th, 2013
3:41 am

Sounds simple, let’s go out and get a new coach…who?

SEAM2

November 18th, 2013
6:06 am

Lovie Smith can bring a fresh approach. None of his teams ever quit on him.

trademark

November 18th, 2013
6:11 am

Basically, the team doesn’t respond to the system anymore, all spark and energy and confidence is lost. A good example of what is going on is what happened with Reid in Philly. No matter the merits and strengths of the Coach, if the Team is not listening, they will under perform.

The leader of the team (Ryan) has given up. Or he is trying to show up the Coaches. Either way, it sucks, and as the leader, that attitude is permeating to the rest of the team. He might not have a choice. What would anyone do, 100 million or not, when your advice and contributions are constantly over-ruled, and there is no trust given to you? Eventually, you have to do as you’re told, or lose all interest. Ryan is doing a little of both. I feel just bad for the whole team. The veterans are not trusted and the rookies don’t have any idea even which position they should be playing.

More on Smith later.

Hang in there Falcon’s faithful.

trademark

November 18th, 2013
6:12 am

Blog monster.

trademark

November 18th, 2013
7:10 am

Mike Smith: For the record, won a lot of regular season games.
For the record as well, against mid-tier and inferior teams, he won a lot of regular season games.

Remember the big buzz a couple of years ago about the Falcons not being able to win a “statement” game?

That’s because they very, very rarely beat the good ones, and only (luckily) beat one of them in 5 years in the playoffs.

Why?

Because they got outcoached. And now the rest of the NFL HAS CAUGHT ON. They also can read between the lines at the simplified, conservative play-calling, and know where to attack the weaknesses that these quality teams exposed on national TV over and over again for the last 5 years.
Now, with the secrets out, the coaches have nowhere to hide. They are not innovative. They are stubborn, demanding, and do not trust their players.

Recipe for disaster: see above. Stir well.

Unfortunately, Blank only sees the “W”s, not the circumstances or the frustration that the same mistakes kept getting made year after year after year.

It’s all too painfully clear to the fans here at the Cage.

TReamon

November 18th, 2013
7:19 am

I have a friend that insisted Matt Ryan was ok, not elite. I thought he was…but my friend kept saying for the last 4 years that if the QB needs these 1st round draft pick pro bowlers at the key positions in order to be “elite” then that’s not an elite QB. I really thought Matt would make lemonade outta lemons, but he’s the lemon himself. The OL is not much worse than many others in the NFL – nobody gets to play in perfect conditions anymore. You have to make do. Big Ben’s O-line been shaky for years. who the hell does Brady throw too? anybody know their names? You just have to will it yourself. Is there anyone starting for the Saints on offense that was picked in the first round? I guess that might speak more to the genius that is Sean Payton though. Oh well, the Falcons are vying for the top spot in the draft now. This season is DONE. Hopefully the Saints show some mercy on Thur night.

Fresh

November 18th, 2013
7:38 am

If Mike Smith gets fired, his coaching days may be over. I don’t see anyone lining up for his services, after this year in Atlanta.

Fresh

November 18th, 2013
7:43 am

If the lowly Bucs can put 41 pts. on the board, the Saint’s are going to really embarass the Falcons in primetime on national tv. AGAIN.

Fresh

November 18th, 2013
7:47 am

The Bucs were one of the worst teams in the NFL, and they blew out the Falcons. So now that means the Falcons are …..( you know the rest)

Fresh

November 18th, 2013
7:49 am

Aruther Blank needs to put Mike Smith in the WWP, that SW talks about.

tfalcon

November 18th, 2013
8:00 am

I’m a season ticket holder ,but what we are seeing this team
I can say Atlanta might be better off without a football team.
The team is spending almost all the money they have.And
now I don’t even know if I can believe in we always have next
year.
the two people that are responable for what was put on the
field to contend for a SB,are in charge of fixing it.As a paying
fan I think the two most important posion to be evalurated
are safe.All this doesn’t leave me with alot of hope

John Waynesworld

November 18th, 2013
8:25 am

What a game, and it gives me such hopeful anticipation for our next tilt with the Sain’ts.

Some notes…

#1 – Smith and TD won’t get fired this off-season even if we loses every remaining game.
#2 – No OC or DC change-over will happen either (maybe a strength coach gets canned).
#3 – Arthur will give Smith & Company until 2015 to improve the offensive and defensive trenches.

That is all. We will have the same basic cast of characters next year, minus a few contractual contractions including some old guys and some dead weight (unfortunately not named Sam Baker).

I would guess if there was some juicy Pro Bowl FA RT or RG available in the market place, that Arthur would press TD very hard to “borrow” money from Matt’s contract to sign a proven line protector.

Whatever happens in free agency, this next draft is ALL about the big uglies on both sides of the ball. Using our top 10 pick (maybe top 5) to trade down and get 2 first round picks may be the way to go.

Since TD is soooooooooooo smart in selecting talented linemen in the late rounds, this should be a walk in the intellectual park for him to select some good ones in the 1st and 2nd rounds.

SG

November 18th, 2013
8:27 am

TM: “It’s all too painfully clear …” Right you are. And the key word there is ‘all’.

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 18th, 2013
8:29 am

FULL REBUILDING MODE!!!
*** Trade Matt Ryan to Jax for two #1′ (2013 & 2014 & #2 in 2013)
#1 Teddy Bridgewater (QB) ** #1 pick Jax trade
#1 Jadeveon Clowney (DE) ** #1 pick Falcons (4th pick)
#2 Cyril Richardson (OT/OG) ** #2 pick Jax trade
#2 Ryan Shazier (OLB) ** #2 pick Falcons
#3 La’el Collins (LOT)
Still have Jax & Falcons #1’s in 2015

Trading Ryan frees up $120,000,000 in cap

trademark

November 18th, 2013
8:30 am

Shows the class of Saints trolls to come here and stir up sh!t when the Falcons are down. But then again, where do you expect to find a Saints fan but enjoying themselves in a big pile of sh!t.

And trying to act like you have a clue as to NFL strategies, O-Line quality and bad coaching schemes.

“Genius of Sean Payton”. Well, guess what genius, due to his suspension, that will serve him jack when he wants that Hall of Fame spot. Bellicheck also. Good coaches, yep. Cheaters and miserable human beings as well. Aw well, fits with NO.

SG

November 18th, 2013
8:33 am

Everything, from personnel moves, to play calling to MR2’s throws, is now operating fully in Desperation Mode.

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 18th, 2013
8:37 am

#4 Jake Murphy (TE) ** Dale Murphy’s son

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 18th, 2013
8:41 am

Panther’s were my division favorite all along….. considering how many changes the Falcons made on the OL. That’s the way you build a Super Bowl winner – from the DL out.

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 18th, 2013
8:41 am

Panther’s were my division favorite all along….. considering how many changes the Falcons made on the OL. That’s the way you build a Super Bowl winner – from the DL out.

SG

November 18th, 2013
8:51 am

Vaughn McClure reporting his AM that “Davis suffered what could be a serious knee injury, which would mean the Falcons might have to find a quarterback to back up Ryan on Thursday night against the Saints.”

trademark

November 18th, 2013
8:56 am

Panthers were a good call. I saw how hard they played last year, and that only keeps building as long as you play that hard.

We all can see what happens when you don’t.

Another point on the HC’s, and their effect on team; when a team is lost, it’s infectious. There is no confidence, no energy, no drive. When they believe, please see New Orleans and Kansas City as examples. KC has basically the same team they trotted out last year, but the belief and execution of the coaching system has them soaring.

The same thing happened here for the last 5 years. The fact that the same mistakes kept getting repeated and the same good teams kept beating us, plus the early playoff exits have eroded that belief to the point where the players don’t trust it anymore.

As for the coaches, well, they never trusted the players. Otherwise Ryan would have been running the No Huddle for 3 years now, and we wouldn’t have to keep sending out search parties for our draftees. They came in here with the attitude that this was a broken franchise and needed to be sternly taken under the yoke. And yeah, at first, that was true. But when the players became vetran and good enough to be trusted to make plays, they got stonewalled.

That leads to frustration as well on a professional level.

John Waynesworld

November 18th, 2013
9:18 am

http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/atlanta-falcons/2013/nov/18/report-card-falcons-grades-are-wretched/

DOL is getting a tad more courageous, but he still strains his colon to give the coaching staff a “C”.

I would call that a “Flowery Branch Parking Pass” grade.

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 18th, 2013
9:25 am

This entire season including the decision to jettison so many vets at one time is given a grade of F.

Falconssince70

November 18th, 2013
9:25 am

Preach it D3…and I’ve got an “Amen”

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 18th, 2013
9:28 am

No OL & No DL means 2-6 is about right.

I like Matt Ryan a lot but you can’t pay one guy $120,000,000 and buy your DL with food stamps and get your OL from the Salvation Army and expect to win.

Wings

November 18th, 2013
9:35 am

And don’t forget the head coaching staff doesn’t trust the two coordinators or each would have been allowed to install their own systems, especially Mike Nolan. Nolan has been hamstrung by player quality and interference by the head coach. I don’t know have a clue what Koetter is about; HC Smith has total control over him.

Wings

November 18th, 2013
9:45 am

Mike Smith – “We tried some new guys and I think we’ll continue to do that as we move forward,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “I don’t think there is anything that is out of the question.”

Didn’t he say the opposite last week. The Cage is always ahead of the coaching staff; many times several cagers have suggested trying different players. Enough of this stubbornness; too much!!!

DLED – “Dominique Davis made his NFL debut and completed 5 of 7 passes for 34 yards and had a passer rating of 81.8.”

NFL debut, crap. He should have had some play time last year.

Paddy O

November 18th, 2013
9:51 am

I found it interesting that once down by 20, we actually DID put in Zeke. did you know Travian Robertson was still on the team? And how about Mr. Smith? showed some speed. Sadly, our offense is utter discombobulated. Welcome Back is utterly inept. Bummer that Dom Davis got hurt.

JJ

November 18th, 2013
9:58 am

Dont know if anyone can post it but just heard a hilarious spoof on 92.9 sports radio.
They did it on Snelling to the tune “…because I got high.”
lmao

Paddy O

November 18th, 2013
10:06 am

As you can see, HC Mike Smitty is schizophrenic. Last week, never put in the youngsters – suddenly half way through another blowout, we put them in. You are now getting awful leadership. MR2 was better in 2008 than now – but, our O line was better then too. We are entirely too formulaic. As indicated, other teams watched how elite teams whooped us. Now, all do it. Glad to see Steve Jackson benched. Don’t know why we could not have played Snelling AND Smith the last what? 3 years? Hate to say it, but #13 Johnson drops too many passes. And, I watched RW84 run across the line of scrimmage, and sadly, his running gait is severely hampered – he was limping. We should have left RW84 out the first 4 games – he might now be completely healthy. TD & Smitty — dumb & dumber?

Paddy O

November 18th, 2013
10:09 am

Flo: re dumping a boat load of vet talent- that is my take as well – and which is why TD gets about 60% of the blame for this year – I don’t see Trufant playing very well as a CB – so that is further problematic. Trufant gets out of position WAY too often- as though his coach is taking the year/game off.

trademark

November 18th, 2013
10:10 am

@Wings – Yep, good call, they don’t trust the coordinators either.

My belief about Welcome Back is that he is Smitty’s boy, and nothing more. His fully installed offense in Jacksonville landed the team ranked last in the NFL before he “won” the job here…SHM as to how that happens. Well, no, not really, crony-ism is how a last place coordinator makes the jump to a playoff contender.

Well, the offense is starting to reflect both Smith and Koetter’s “abilities” now….hard to tell with those two though where one starts and the other begins…

Arno

November 18th, 2013
10:27 am

Add another play to our arsenal of zero gainers: that naked hitch pattern. It’s run three or four times every game as a wasted down. #13 is dropping passes, but at least they use him on some decent slants. But why even talk about it? There is so much futility right now, it all seems pointless.

O'Brien

November 18th, 2013
10:38 am

One thing that will work well in Mike Smith’s favor next season.

Assuming we finish last in our division, we will play other last place teams next year. And Mike Smith and Matt Ryan have done a good job of winning against bad teams (this year not included).

If i’m Arthur Blank, why would I be confident that TD can fix it, since he is the one who drafted Peter Kontz, Lamar Holmes, gave big money to Sam Baker etc.

jv

November 18th, 2013
10:45 am

FALCONS CAN SAVE THER SEASON BY BEATING THE SAINTS, REMBER THEIR FIRST LOST TO THE SAINTS LAST YEAR.

jv

November 18th, 2013
10:55 am

Enter your comments here

LRD

November 18th, 2013
11:35 am

JJ… see that is the issue with the team. Snelling has been providing to everyone pre-game brownies.. and that explains the lack of drive and speed. Too busy wondering what make those fireworks so sparkly and of course it make sit hard for the line to block what appears to be a very big lizard (a la Hunter Thompson)

Wings

November 18th, 2013
11:41 am

A win over the Saints will not in any way save their season.

Paddy O

November 18th, 2013
11:48 am

I saw Hawley get a lot of snaps which was a bit odd. Anybody else here realizing that Konz is not that stout a blocker for a guy from Wisconsin?

Paddy O

November 18th, 2013
11:49 am

I wish I enjoyed beating the dead horse.

Arno

November 18th, 2013
12:01 pm

The home page of AJC has this poll: Should Mike Smith be replaced as Falcons coach? We know it’s not the right question, because the problems go higher. But people who think he deserves another chance stands at 68%. An impressive number, considering. The ‘product’ still has a bunch of credibility.