You're right, the head coach is blameless on Beasley and Takk not sniffing their potential.
TD has been an above-average GM overall. His time may be over, but if not for those same two HCs having late game situational brain farts, he would have put together two SB winning teams.
Here we go again on the Ryan hate. Geez I bet yall spend all night trying to figure out what to hate on Ryan next. I never seen a fanbase hate their QB who done everything he possibly can to help this team succeed. BuT hIs CoTrAcT iS tOo MuCh.. NoOdLe ArM... LeTs TaNk FoR tUa....
The Atlanta Football Falcons open a can of whoopass. Starting with the Aints. Never roll over for an Aint. I know most of yall are in tank mode but I aint. I don't think the Branch is either. Never tank. Still eight games left. In a watered down NFL. All these teams look like they could be had to me. I'd like to see us come out and run the table. Get to the second season and roll. We got the whole division ahead of us which also counts for conference games. We know how to play them. Run the table and get some rest. 12 straight!!! That's what I'd like to see right now.
Him taking over as DC was his death knell. He wanted it and he got it. That exposed Quinn, and he should be fired sooner rather than later. Also, play our dayum draft picks, let us know what we have for the next HC.
Less than three years removed from going to the Super Bowl and being honored as the NFL’s most valuable player, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has had his physical and mental resilience tested this season.
The Falcons are 1-7 as they come off the bye week. They’re near two-touchdown underdogs against their longtime rival, the New Orleans Saints, who would love nothing more than to extend the misery. Ryan has thrown for 300-plus yards in six of his seven starts, but he is coming off an ankle injury that caused him to miss his first start since 2009. He also has been sacked 14 times and hit 38 times in his last four starts.
The Falcons have allowed the fifth-most quarterback hits in the league at 60, and that might be a greater indicator of quarterback duress than sacks. The six teams that have allowed the most quarterback hits this season — the New York Giants, Jets, Miami, Tennessee, Atlanta and Tampa Bay — have a combined record of 11-39.
Back to Ryan. As one of the team leaders, he has pulled aside teammates at times this season to discuss what he considers shortcomings in their performance. He has done that in previous seasons, as well. The frustrating part for him is that the overall product hasn’t changed.
When I asked him about the perception that some teammates might not be focused, Ryan told me: “Here’s the thing, Jeff. We haven’t gotten the results we’ve wanted. If you’re just going to point fingers and say, ‘He’s the issue. He’s the issue’ — there are a lot of issues that we have to figure out.”
Ryan spent some time with The Athletic to discuss the Falcons’ season:
Do you always stay in town during the bye week?
It depends on the year. Sometimes when you’re nicked up, I’ve had bye weeks where I’ve been here. Sometimes when I’ve been healthy, we’ve had bye weeks where I’m able to get out and disconnect for a few days. One year we went back to Boston. I went to a B.C. game and had my jersey retired. Mostly when we leave, it’s to see my family or Sarah’s family or just to catch up with somebody someplace on the East Coast.
Did you do anything to decompress?
We had Halloween. That was our big thing with our (1-year-old twin) boys. We took them around to three houses in our neighborhood. But that was it. It was cold.
Did they go as Matt Ryan?
No! They went as Ninja Turtles. They loved dressing up. We kind of practiced walking up to the door and knocking on it. We had a little game plan going into it, and they executed it pretty well.
OK, shifting gears. You’ve been part of a couple of pretty bad years here. But is this the worst, not just because of the record but the expectations?
It’s definitely been the toughest start to the season, for sure. There was an expectation for us to be productive. We haven’t been able to play consistently across the board. It’s been frustrating and disappointing. But you have to find a way to get through that and to continue to have belief you’re going to play better as we move forward.
Has it been mind-boggling, to some degree?
One thing I’ve learned in this league is that it’s tough to win. The margin for error is small. The line between wins and losses is very fine. So to a certain extent, nothing shocks me. But at the same time, we haven’t been as productive as we’ve needed to be. That’s the part you rack your brain about. Why? What’s the why?
But when you go from a presumed playoff contender to 1-7, that’s significant, even in a league in which most games are decided by a touchdown.
I hear ya. Some years, two or three games go in the other direction and you think, “OK, we’ve kind of weathered the storm.” Then you go on a roll. But you have to find ways to win those tough, ugly games. Good teams I’ve been on have found a way to do that, and we have not done that this year.
What, in 2016, beyond just the offense being on a roll, went right? What made that season work?
A lot of things went right. You talk about being opportunistic as a team. Capitalizing off turnovers and scoring points off that. Creating explosive plays. And we didn’t put ourselves in situations that were difficult to overcome. This year offensively there have been too many times where we had penalties that set us back in drives and prevented us from getting into a consistent rhythm. That’s not something that happened back then (in 2016).
Do you take it more personally when things fall apart and spiral because you’re one of the team leaders?
Absolutely I take it personally. You’re invested. You’ve invested so much in this. You’re committed to trying to make this as successful as it can be. So when it doesn’t go right, it hurts. But you have to persist. You have to find a way to get through it and beyond it. That’s where mental toughness and grit and things you’ve worked on along the way help you out.
What are some of the different ways you’ve tried to lead the team this season? Have there been times when you jumped on a table or called a team meeting? I know sometimes that kind of stuff gets overblown.
I always feel like that overreaction kind of stuff — you know, that’s a Band-Aid. In order to get things right, you have to do things right all the time. It’s not a speech that changes things. It’s not one specific act that changes things. It’s consistent effort over a long period of time that changes things. That’s the message more than anything that you try to stress and get over to guys. You have to do things right all the time just to give yourself an opportunity to be successful. That’s my approach to it. It’s less about being rah-rah than it is having the right approach every day.
Have you felt the need to pull guys aside this year?
Absolutely. But I’ve been doing that my entire career. For sure, as this year has gone on, I’ve said things like, “Stay the course,” or, “You need to be a little more consistent,” or, “You need to do things a little bit different.”
But that’s not working this year.
The results have not been there. I’m a believer that there’s these four quadrants of performance: You can have a process and bad results, a bad process and good results, a good process and bad results or a good process and good results. Right now our process is actually OK but we’re getting bad results, and that’s the toughest quadrant to be in.
But when a team consistently underachieves in a season, as yours has, there’s a perception by some that some guys in your locker room aren’t focused, for whatever reason, and their minds are elsewhere. And as you know, it doesn’t take a lot of players doing the wrong thing for a season to spin off the rails.
And that’s the thing: It’s got to be everybody — all-in, all the time, across the board.
So have you seen that? Do you think there’s an issue?
Here’s the thing, Jeff: We haven’t gotten the results we’ve wanted. If you’re just going to point fingers and say, “He’s the issue. He’s the issue” — there are a lot of issues that we have to figure out. But to me, it’s not guys not caring or not being invested or the day-to-day mindset not being there. We’ve just got to find ways to take what we’re doing on the practice field and in the meeting room and make it work in games. To me, it’s not about guys being distracted. We just need to play better.
I hear those narratives a lot. But clearly something is off on Sunday.
There’s a handful of really good things we’re doing at certain times. That’s the standard we have to find a way to play at consistently.
There’s obviously a lot of speculation now about Dan Quinn possibly losing his job. As someone who’s been with him for a while, what are your thoughts seeing him go through this?
It sucks. It sucks. You understand it’s a production-based business. But he’s a **** of a coach and as consistent a person as I’ve ever been around. That’s the part — as players, you want to find a way to make these plays because you love the guy. That’s the part you take personally. He’s given so much to this cause.
Sometimes players love a coach so much that they take advantage of that.
That’s you saying that. I can only speak for me. You want to find a way to make plays because he’s a **** of a guy and a good football coach.
My only guess is that DQ has found out, this year, that head coaching is a LOT HARDER than he thought, and he knows he doesn't have what it takes (yet anyway), and he's eager to go to a smaller role somewhere else that he knows how to handle.
Kneel down. Pats burn time out.
Kneel down. Pats burn time out.
Kneel down. Pats burn final time out.
4th and 13 from the 25. Bryant kicks a 43 yard chip shot to go up 11. Falcons hold on to win.
I've thought about this more than I care to admit.
What's still crazy to me is you would think Quinn of all people would have realized how dangerous it is passing the ball late in the game in the Superbowl when you should be running it instead...dude didn't learn.