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Question For The "fire Mike Smith" Crowd: Which Team Should Have Won It All?


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I have asked this question in a couple of threads and only one poster engaged me with any kind of rational, thoughtful post, so I will ask again:

To those that feel that Mike Smith is the key factor that is holding the Falcons back, that he is the reason the team has come up short in the playoffs, I would like you to tell me which one of Mike Smith's teams has underachieved? Which roster did he take into the playoffs that was loaded for bear and ready to win it all and came up short? Which season did you look at the Falcons and say to yourself, honestly, that this is the best team in football?

And please give concrete examples not these tired platitudes that he's soft, or he doesn't yell on the sidelines, I'm talking real examples: decisions that he made or didn't make that cost the team whether it be clock management, going for it or not going for it on 4th down, etc. ... something key, something strategic that a coach has control over.

I'll give you an example. I think Mike Smith made a huge error Sunday by not burning his timeouts on that last drive. The Dolphins' offense was clearly in rhythm that final drive; I would have started burning timeouts right when the clock got around 3 minutes when the Dolphins got into field goal range... I definitely would have started burning them after that seam route to the slot receiver that got them down to the 10 yard line. After that play there was about 1:40 left on the clock. Instead of taking a TO there, he waited until the next play where they got to the 1 yard line and there was something like 43 seconds left. In that situation, time on the clock is more important that timeouts in your pocket.

Don't know that it would have made a difference considering the Falcons needed a TD vs. a field goal, but at least you're giving the offense a chance, and I'll roll the dice with Matt Ryan and company with 2 minutes on the clock vs. 38 seconds.

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I think we should have beaten Arizona in 2008/9 and NY in 2011/12, because we were better than both and we should have won the SB this year.

Against Arizona, we started too slowly and timidly in a raucous atmosphere. We did well to get back in the game, until Turners fumble at the top of the 3rd Qtr killed the game. We needed to start quicker and be more aggressive to take the crowd out of the game. That timidity starts with the headcoach.

Our offensive game plan against NY in 11/12 was a joke. We conceded the game 6 days before kickoff, when we came up with a game plan based on throwing under the defensive coverage all game, because we were scared of their DL. We refused to challenge the D even when we needed to score quickly and the Giants had their horrible rookie CB on the field. It was possibly the most gutless performance I've seen in almost 30 years, and unforgivable agains a 9-7 team that was only 4-4 at home. Mularkey may have devised the gameplan, but it was approved and signed off by Smith.

This year, we Smith cost us big time when he played the starters in a meaningless game, resulting in the loss of our best pass rusher. That was an unforgivably stupid decision. For my money, the loss of Abe was a big difference maker in an NFCCG that we should have won, and that's largely on Smith.

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I think we should have beaten Arizona in 2008/9 and NY in 2011/12, because we were better than both and we should have won the SB this year.

Against Arizona, we started too slowly and timidly in a raucous atmosphere. We did well to get back in the game, until Turners fumble at the top of the 3rd Qtr killed the game. We needed to start quicker and be more aggressive to take the crowd out of the game. That timidity starts with the headcoach.

Our offensive game plan against NY in 11/12 was a joke. We conceded the game 6 days before kickoff, when we came up with a game plan based on throwing under the defensive coverage all game, because we were scared of their DL. We refused to challenge the D even when we needed to score quickly and the Giants had their horrible rookie CB on the field. It was possibly the most gutless performance I've seen in almost 30 years, and unforgivable agains a 9-7 team that was only 4-4 at home. Mularkey may have devised the gameplan, but it was approved and signed off by Smith.

This year, we Smith cost us big time when he played the starters in a meaningless game, resulting in the loss of our best pass rusher. That was an unforgivably stupid decision. For my money, the loss of Abe was a big difference maker in an NFCCG that we should have won, and that's largely on Smith.

I'm not to sure about the Arizona game. Now I will give you that Arizona, New York and even last year against San Fran were winnable, but I can't really say the Falcons were better than any of them. The defense was just all around ugh in 2008, especially the pass defense. Now while Arizona's defense was far from all world -- in games like that where the matchup is fairly even -- the edge goes to the team with the best QB. And you've got a rookie up against a future Hall of Famer.

Even if they do get past Arizona, and somehow Philly -- which is a lot to ask for a rookie QB, then you're running into a buzz saw in the Steelers which that year had one of the best defenses of the last decade.

New York felt very winnable the whole week. Even through most of the game it was close -- the defense that had been shaky most of the year came to play, but once again I can't really say the Falcons were better because they were clearly deficient in the spots where you can't be if you expect to win a Super Bowl -- the trenches. The Falcons offensive line was a problem all year and the pass rush well... we already know the story there. New York completely won the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball that day. Sure they were 9-7 they were banged up most of the year, especially on the front 7. They were full speed in the playoffs and it showed.

I agree about Abraham. That was just a bad call to play him the whole game, even though I'm not sure that was the deathblow. Abe had gone a whole month up to that point without getting a sack, and he only had a sack in 7 games that year and only 2 of the last 8. Still, I would have liked to have seen him at full speed in the playoffs.

Edited by PeytonMannings Forehead
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I think we COULD have won that game against AZ. I'd even argue we should have but as it's already been pointed out we had a rookie QB on the road, their D line got off a tad early on a number of snaps I thought, and they won the turnover battle. Not sure I can put that loss on Smith though. Came down to a few key plays...the fumble and 3rd & 16 where someone...we all remember.

I can't say that we should have won against NY. Winnable, but their D line > our O line. That coupled with inferior coordinators kind of did us in. There was a reason that was the last game Mularkey and BVG coached with us and the rumor was they were asked to pursue other opportunities after the Saints game that year.

I won't argue that the Abraham injury was Smith's fault and that it was costly. As the poster before me said though I can't say that's WHY we lost but I've been on record that the decision to go with the starters that lead to the injury was the worst decision Smith has made since he's been our head coach. I just think he completely overthought the "can't get it done in the playoff" talk and trying to keep momentum thing. With all of that though, I feel like we were clearly in a position to win that game against SF. Even with poor LB and safety play, if not for the fluke fumble, Roddy slipping leading to an INT, Harry tripping on the turf and the no call at the end. I don't really know what else Smitty was supposed to do there, as frustrating as the whole thing was for fans. It'd be the equivalent of Ravens fans blaming Harbaugh 2 years ago for Lee Evans dropping a TD to go ahead or Cundiff missing the FG to tie it.

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Folks if you want to put blame for the Arizona loss on any one individual, look no further than Keith Brooking. The guy was supposed seasoned vet by then and bit on a play action fake on third and forever. Everybody in the world knew they were going to pass and the idiot still bit on the run fake.... Hold them there and we get the ball back and Matt most likely goes down and wins it. So I guess we should blame Mike Smith for Brooking being an idiot?

Edited by Falc_Fan_Since_Six
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The Dolphins need to quietly leave week 3 behind because they got their butts beat. This is why football is a strange sport sometimes. You love it and sometimes hate it. Week 3 is one of those strange weeks. We need to quickly move on to the Patriots game. My 2 biggest gripe is the Harry Douglass fumble and the shanked FG. Toward our last series, I was speechless. We did the right things but not at right moments. We also need to keep the chains moving toward 3rd qtr. 3rd qtr for some reason is our achilles heel. It was almost the same issue last season. For those calling for Mike Smith head. I have to say, ARE YOU STUPID OR SOMETHING? (Bubba's wife voice - From Forest Gump)

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We have never been the best team in football under Mike Smith, but then again the best team in football rarely actually wins he SB. You just have to be a team that gets hot at the right time and is competitive in the playoffs.

You can make the point that the best regular season team doesn't win -- most of the time that's due to injuries or other extenuating circumstance -- but teams with superior talent win.

Show me a team that's won in the last 5 or 6 years that didn't have superior talent in the key places where the Falcons are deficient.

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You can make the point that the best regular season team doesn't win -- most of the time that's due to injuries or other extenuating circumstance -- but teams with superior talent win.

Show me a team that's won in the last 5 or 6 years that didn't have superior talent in the key places where the Falcons are deficient.

show me a team that did win over the last 5 or 6 years that had superior talent in key places where the other 31 teams were deficient. Every team has weakness, some just do a better job at covering them up than others, if it were all about superior talent in key places the same team or two would win the SB every year. There is way too much parity in the league, especially amongst the top 12 teams, for talent to be the sole deciding factor. The Ravens weren't the most talented team last year, nor did they have superior talent on the OL or DL. The Giants were never had more talent that the patriots, they just did a much better job at playing to their strengths and hiding their weaknesses. They also did a heck of a job of getting hot at the right time. A great deal more goes into a game, and indeed a season, than having superior talent at key positions. Every team that has won the SB over the last few years can attest to that, especially the Packers.
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I have asked this question in a couple of threads and only one poster engaged me with any kind of rational, thoughtful post, so I will ask again:

To those that feel that Mike Smith is the key factor that is holding the Falcons back, that he is the reason the team has come up short in the playoffs, I would like you to tell me which one of Mike Smith's teams has underachieved? Which roster did he take into the playoffs that was loaded for bear and ready to win it all and came up short? Which season did you look at the Falcons and say to yourself, honestly, that this is the best team in football?

And please give concrete examples not these tired platitudes that he's soft, or he doesn't yell on the sidelines, I'm talking real examples: decisions that he made or didn't make that cost the team whether it be clock management, going for it or not going for it on 4th down, etc. ... something key, something strategic that a coach has control over.

I'll give you an example. I think Mike Smith made a huge error Sunday by not burning his timeouts on that last drive. The Dolphins' offense was clearly in rhythm that final drive; I would have started burning timeouts right when the clock got around 3 minutes when the Dolphins got into field goal range... I definitely would have started burning them after that seam route to the slot receiver that got them down to the 10 yard line. After that play there was about 1:40 left on the clock. Instead of taking a TO there, he waited until the next play where they got to the 1 yard line and there was something like 43 seconds left. In that situation, time on the clock is more important that timeouts in your pocket.

Don't know that it would have made a difference considering the Falcons needed a TD vs. a field goal, but at least you're giving the offense a chance, and I'll roll the dice with Matt Ryan and company with 2 minutes on the clock vs. 38 seconds.

I don't think we should fire Mike Smith. I'm not part of that crowd. I do however think he's just as clueless as the rest of us in regards to why this team gets big leads and then gives them up. The team that underachieved was last years squad. I do believe we were the best team in the league, and I do believe if we'd made it to the Super Bowl we would have won.

We can blame the defense, but then the offense goes dormant for most of the second half in both the SeaHawk and 49'er game, so it falls on them as well. Neither of those teams should have had a prayer after the first quarter. To act like the team did not under achieve is a joke.

Is it lack of talent? Is it the coaches / coordinators? I don't know the answer, and I don't think Mike Smith knows either....and I like him as our coach.

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14-0

The Falcons were never up 14-0 in that game.

But follow up. Where do you think Smith came up short? Do you think the Falcons were better than the Packers? Do you think Atlanta fielded a championship caliber defense -- a defense that couldn't force a punt the entire game, or missed on at least 3 sacks? You think the offense was as explosive as Green Bay's and just didn't show up?

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The Falcons were never up 14-0 in that game.

But follow up. Where do you think Smith came up short? Do you think the Falcons were better than the Packers? Do you think Atlanta fielded a championship caliber defense -- a defense that couldn't force a punt the entire game, or missed on at least 3 sacks? You think the offense was as explosive as Green Bay's and just didn't show up?

2011 Packers game
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You think the Falcons were better than the 49ers last year?

Personally I do. Sick of hearing how good their defense is when every other game someone puts a 30 burger on them.

Ask the Colts how intimidating their defense is. Last year they were completely healthy when the Giants went to Candlestick and punched them in the mouth.

We were better than them last year, and we're better than them this year as well.

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The Falcons were never up 14-0 in that game.

But follow up. Where do you think Smith came up short? Do you think the Falcons were better than the Packers? Do you think Atlanta fielded a championship caliber defense -- a defense that couldn't force a punt the entire game, or missed on at least 3 sacks? You think the offense was as explosive as Green Bay's and just didn't show up?

that's right, forgot about the TD to Nelson.

Never said Smith came up short during the Packers game, Packers were one of those teams that got hot at the right time and just kicked the shlt out of everyone else. The game that really stands out to me more than any other is the NYG game. That game was pretty much over before it even started. When I heard Mularkey say in a presser that the entire game plan was basically to play ball control and avoid turnovers at any cost it became obvious that they were mentally beat before they even stepped on the field. While I blame Mularkey for that terrible effort Smith is ultimately responsible for determining how to prep for a game. I can't really get down with any coach that develops an entire game plan based on not losing. I'll be honest, I just don;t like the guy. I was on his side for the first few years when he was playing with house money and didn't really have anything to lose but as expectations have increased he has changed his coaching style to a point where I don't really like the guy as a HC anymore. He plays the numbers game, and I guess I can respect that to a degree, but as we have seen the numbers game doesn't get it done in the playoffs.

Edited by Aftermath
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That Packers game was virtually unwinable. Rodgers just had one of those special games where he was in the zone. He completed 5 or 6 passes in that game that no QB had any right to complete and that would have been defended/incomplete on a normal day.

I wouldn't put that game on Smith, although I think that the 2 second qtr turnovers may have been a fator in our horrible, gutless gameplan against NY in the playoffs a year later.

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show me a team that did win over the last 5 or 6 years that had superior talent in key places where the other 31 teams were deficient. Every team has weakness, some just do a better job at covering them up than others, if it were all about superior talent in key places the same team or two would win the SB every year. There is way too much parity in the league, especially amongst the top 12 teams, for talent to be the sole deciding factor. The Ravens weren't the most talented team last year, nor did they have superior talent on the OL or DL. The Giants were never had more talent that the patriots, they just did a much better job at playing to their strengths and hiding their weaknesses. They also did a heck of a job of getting hot at the right time. A great deal more goes into a game, and indeed a season, than having superior talent at key positions. Every team that has won the SB over the last few years can attest to that, especially the Packers.

Like **** the Ravens didn't have superior talent on both lines. How many first round picks were on that offensive line? You got two former 1st rounder bookending the tackles, an multiple pro bowler at center, Yanda who's been to a couple of Pro Bowls, and Osemele who was a 2nd round pick. On defense you had Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, who is one of the best pass rushers in the game, and two sure-fire Hall of Famers who came back healthy for the playoffs. You're telling me Atlanta has comperable talent on its lines?

Packers -- dude the Packers record was only 10-6 because they fought injuries the whole year. They had a top 5 defense despite that and would have been in the top 2 if they hadn't been banged up. That was a team that once they got going didn't have much of any weaknesses outside of an inconsistent running game, and even that came alive in the playoffs.

Giants -- they were superior where they needed to be, in the trenches. Each time they won the Super Bowl they featured the deepest defensive line in football. How do you think they beat the Patriots in 2007? They knocked the sh!t out of Brady.

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