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mqg96 posted a topic in Talk About the FalconsThis is going to be a very detailed post by me. I fan-posted this on the Falcoholic as well and I would like to share this with everyone on the Falcons boards. These are officially my thoughts on the Falcons 2018 season so far. That top 10 in scoring D we had last year was Dontari Poe, Adrian Clayborn, Keanu Neal, Deion Jones, and Ricardo Allen coming together and leading the other guys on defense. Robert Alford, Desmond Trufant, Brian Poole, and other guys were probably better and up'd their game because of the leadership of Rico and Debo on the field. Jarrett and Takk definitely helped too of course. Our defense came TOGETHER as a collective group with all of those guys from the 2017 unit. When we got rid of Poe and Clayborn this off season, our D-line took an immediate step back and we saw that throughout the preseason. Once Debo, Neal and Rico went down, we were minus 5 major guys from last season's defense. Add the fact that Takk is banged up and even Grady too. You can't overcome that much and expect to be any better than last year, but when your defense is historically bad just because of 3 guys being out, even if they were major pro bowlers, our defense was already thin with lack of depth. I understand those 3 injuries aren't just any injuries, it's 3 injuries to your MOST IMPORTANT and GAME CHANGING GUYS on defense. With that being said, we still have way too much talent on both sides of the ball to be a 1-4 team the first 5 weeks of the season, our worst start since 2013. Look at other teams around the league who have better depth than us and better coaching than us, there are no excuses for them. People keep saying it's all about the 3 major injuries defensively, but the Falcons have A LOT more problems than this. 1. Offensive play calling not clutch enough. Our coaching is very poor in CLUTCH moments when it matters most. Our offense may have fixed its red zone issues from last season, but the few times our thin defense gives our offense a chance, we can't do anything. For an example, against the Saints we get the ball back up 14-13 before the half and we could have gotten 3 points and led 17-13, but instead we have an immediate 3 & out deep in our own territory and the Saints immediately drive down the field and take a 16-14 halftime lead, and that was a SIX point difference swing right there that came back to hunt us. We were tied at 37 against the Saints before OT and the Falcons still had a chance to get in field goal range and win, and we did NOT get it done when we knew our defense wasn't stopping the Saints. Against the Bengals we had a few opportunities offensively and we didn't get it done. Against the Steelers when it was 13-10 for AWHILE, our defense gave us opportunities throughout the 2nd & 3rd quarters but our offense couldn't do anything before the blowout began. We wait until it's too late or when we're trailing by a deficit to finally do something offensively and I get tired of this. 2. Blowing late leads continue to be a problem Our defense keeps blowing leads in the 4th quarter and this goes back to 2016 of course. I don't understand what it is with our coaching staff not having a sense of urgency late in games. Even in our only win against the Panthers, we were up 31-17 late in the game and we give them a quick TD, and then we had to stop them in the red zone to survive 31-24 and could have easily blown that one. We were up 12-10 on the Eagles and lost 18-12. We were up 37-30 on the Saints and lost. We were up 36-31 on the Bengals and lost it. This pattern didn't start this year, it's been an ongoing problem with Dan Quinn and even the whole Matt Ryan era when Mike Smith was our head coach. 3. Special Teams Our special teams have been bad, specifically our kick coverage and punting. We haven't had a good returner since Devin Hester for that little time. However, it seems like the few times we get a good return, it's always illegal block in the back for us. What's up with Matt Bosher's blocked punts 2 out of the last 3 games which were highly costly? It came back to hunt us against the Saints. It started the Steelers blowout on us late in the 3rd quarter. Keith Armstrong has to get it together or I don't know if he should still be our special teams coordinator. 4. Penalties and O-line The boneheaded penalties at the worst possible times in the world drive me insane, in fact, we are the most penalized team in the league I believe. That falls on the entire coaching staff. Last but not least, our O-line pass blocking and pass protection have completely crashed, and it showed against a Steelers defense that had been struggling. I understand the season ending injury to Andy Levitre and that's very unfortunate, but once again we have A LOT more problems than just major injuries at multiple positions. Which I will continue on here. 5. Problems against the AFC Dan Quinn's failures against AFC opponents are clear as day and night. I understand NFC games are more important in terms of playoff seeding and tiebreakers, but AFC games still count for your overall record. We have now lost 8 out of our last 9 AFC games going back to the Chargers in 2016. After the Bengals loss we are now 1-6 at home vs. AFC opponents under Dan Quinn as the head coach, 1-10 overall since 2013 though. The Falcons also has a 6 game losing streak to AFC North teams since 2014 even though we only play the division once every 4 years. AFC North teams are outdoor teams built with big physical guys up front and they grind you out, similar to how the Eagles are built who have always been a bad match up for the Falcons. If you CAN'T beat an AFC opponent, then you don't deserve to go to the Super Bowl anyway. 6. Has our defense ever been elite in the Dan Quinn era? Back to my point about the Falcons struggles against opponents with big grinding teams up front. Dan Quinn's philosophy has always been speed & quickness over big guys and strength right? This is Dan Quinn's 4th year now, and after 4 years despite the injuries on defense for this year's team, our defense is still mediocre at best and you should have better depth across the roster built up in 4 seasons. You are a defensive minded coach. Take out 2017 when we were top 10 in scoring D, and then look at our poor defensive numbers in 2015, 2016, and 2018. The 2015 Falcons had an easy schedule and let backup QB's beat them, and they were last in the league in sacks. The 2016 Falcons defense improved in the pass rush and takeaways, but the secondary was still weak and our defense struggled most of the season against above average offenses, and we know our high powered offense carried that team. Don't fool yourselves. We've never had an elite defense in the Dan Quinn era like we thought we would have by now. Yes, we've had talented players making plays, but we've always had the bend don't break style. Maybe it's the scheme, IDK. Someone help me out on this. Even the 2017 defense wasn't elite because we couldn't force turnovers and despite being top 10 in scoring D, we still struggled in yards per play apparently. The 2018 Falcons defense is HISTORICALLY BAD despite 3 major injuries to pro bowl players. Like I said before, our defense this year is last year minus Poe, Clayborn, Neal, Debo, Rico, and Takk & Grady being banged up. 7. Is it time to hold Dan Quinn accountable? You are what your record says it is. Good teams find ways to win close games and eventually have a blowout win down the road. Bad teams find ways to lose close games and eventually have a blowout loss down the road, which is who we are right now. Dan Quinn has to realize this, but he believes that "we're find with what we have" or "we're better than what our record says" when we are clearly NOT. Elite head coaches would say "we are NOT a good team right now!" or say "we are NOT there yet!" and gets their team motivated. Watch Penn State head coach Jame Franklin's postgame speech after their loss to Ohio State in college football. That's a great example of an elite head coach and a motivator. Quinn also has said week after week "our issues are fixable and we will fix them", and it hasn't been fixed. We keep having missed tackles and poor technique week after week. We continue to have an excessive amount of penalties, and so forth. Anyone recall the 2010 Packers who had 18 players on IR and they didn't use any of that as an excuse. None of the "woe it's me" attitude. They must have had better coaching. Anyways, I'll leave the rest for y'all to analysis this. What do you believe is the problem with this year's Falcons so far?