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Why do you think the Falcons got dominated in the playoffs so much when Mike Smith was head coach?


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12 minutes ago, JD dirtybird21 said:

I admit I appreciate Mike Smith much more now than I did when he was here. His teams were always the least penalized in the league. And they had excellent technique all around that was beneficial to the rules. I actually think if he were the head coach of the 2016 team with Shanahan as the OC, that team wins the super bowl. 

I have to admit I'm hoping that now that the Quinn era is over people can look back and appreciate how good of a HC Smith was at the time.

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Sometimes you aren't the right coach for the playoffs.  Sometimes the ball bounces the wrong way. Just looking at 2008. The missed assignment where Turner got blown up and fumbled lost the game. Falcons could very well have gone to the super bowl that year. They were just good enough. Then there's the 2011 playoff loss to the Giants where the team just quit playing for some reason.

I just hope Smith 2.0 brings more discipline and organization to the team. 2013-14 teams played a lot like the 2018-20 teams. Lack of discipline and organization. 

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There are a variety of reasons for it.  First, as other have mentioned, Mike Smith counted too much on conservative mistake free football to win.  That works great during the regular season, but when the big lights are on in the playoffs, you need to step up your game and be more aggressive.   MS was never great at that.  I think another factor, which explains beating a team in the regular season but losing to them in the playoffs, is that MS didn't make very good adjustments at half time or from game to game.   If you go into a playoff game with the same game plan you used to beat a team in the regular season.. and you can't/won't adjust.. then you're going to get slapped around because the other team isn't going to let you beat them the same way twice.  

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I think it's just the team taking on the characteristics of the head coach.  Smith was an uptight guy.  Don't make mistakes and be conservative.  When the playoffs rolled around we played tight and that formula wasn't successful in that atmosphere.  Quinn was the exact opposite.  Don't worry about mistakes just play loose and hopefully the mistakes will happen less frequently as the year rolls on.  Quinn's teams did seem to play better later in the season and into the playoffs but they started off so slow and were so bad early in the season that it doomed him.

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Posted (edited)

2012 was the Falcons best team but the Falcons made some critical errors that year which cost them a superbowl. 

1. Mike Smith played John Abraham in a meaningless last game of the season against Carolina where he gets hurt and which changes the entire defense in the playoffs. 

2. He ran Micheal Turner into the ground in the regular season  in previous years so he wasn't the same back in the playoffs. 

3. To conservative, during key times in the game. 

 The irony is I saw a lot of similarities between some old Mike Smith teams and how Tenn played Baltimore in the playoffs this year.  Baltimore shut down the run game and Tenn could not score, and they are doing the exact same thing as the Mike Smith led Falcons, getting Julio Jones to take them over the top. 

Edited by insight
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I know I can be annoying & crabby, so here goes…

Now it might just be a personal thing for me, but does anyone else find that resurrecting old regimes or analyzing hypotheticals that make absolutely no difference in today’s world with zero affect on what our team is gonna do today or in the near future sort of disinterest you?  Prob just me…

Like for me I really couldn’t care any less what Smith did or why he did it or why he failed or whatever.  I mean it’s the same to me if you asked… “hmmm, I wonder why Andy didn’t put Otis the drunk on a sobriety program on Mayberry RFD rather than leave him in the jail cell every night with the keys right next to him?”

I mean do you think it was because Barney Fife wouldn’t have anything to do?  Or maybe Andy used to date Otis’s sister or something?  Let’s discuss! :D

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1 hour ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

2014 the problem was the oline couldn’t block at all against the Panthers. The nightmare came true.

2008-2011 Smiths run heavy scheme would run Turner into the ground by the end of the year. Also those teams were designed to keep things close.

2008 & 2010 turnovers more or less ruined the Falcons.

2011 was more of a scared game plan and gave waaay too much respect to the Giants pass rush. Again Turner was pretty much running on empty by the time the playoffs came. This also illustrated the limits of Mularkey as a play caller.

2012 absolutely ZERO pass rusher doomed the Falcons… & turnovers.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why two consecutive DEFENSIVE head coaches thought it was fine not to bring in Bonafide QB killers To enhance anything they wanted to do on D.
 

 


Oh wait… They had the same GM.  

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1 hour ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

I liked the 2012 team better because BVG was not the defensive coordinator.

They came out hot and won 9 straight games. They also won a game where Ryan threw 5 picks… which is basically impossible.

 That was a crazy game . Four of those picks went off the receivers hands. That's also around the time our receivers were leading the league in drops, yet we kept winning somehow.

 

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1 hour ago, ya_boi_j said:

Never know what you got til it's gone

A couple of injury riddled seasons, and some bad coaching decision during that span sealed his fate. He also wasn't exciting enough of a coach for some, but those same ppl who hated Smitty's style complained about DQ and his catch phrases. I disliked the Smitty firing, didn't feel one way or the other about DQ though.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, JD dirtybird21 said:

Yep. The 2012 team was more "explosive" for sure but they definitely were exploited a lot. The 2010 team actually had identity and won games playing their type of football. The only reason the 2012 team is highly regarded as the best Smitty team ever is because of Julio in the playoffs and falling just short of the SB. But, IMO, I liked the 2010 team much more. 

Agree 100%. The 2010 team was IMO the best overall team of the Ryan era. They were solid, didn't make mistakes, and ran the ball well.

Just ran into a hot QB who had one of the all-time great playoff runs. Worth noting that he hasn't duplicated that run or been to a Super Bowl since.

2012 maybe hurts more knowing how close the Super Bowl was (with a very beatable Ravens team waiting), but 2010 team was better.

Similarly, the 2017 team was actually better in many ways than the 2016 team.

People forget that the 2016 team was a mediocre 7-5 after Ryan threw a pick-2 to lose against the Alex Smith Chiefs before they went on a historic run to the Super Bowl.

 

Edited by DQ Soft Serve
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2 hours ago, Falcons Fan MVP said:

When Mike Smith was head coach for the Falcons the Falcons would often play well all season and then lay a big egg in the playoffs or in win or go home type games. The Falcons got crushed by the Packers 48-21 after beating them in the regular season and earning the 1 seed in 2010. The Falcons got beat 24-2 by the Giants in the playoffs after their offense played well all year with Ryan, Jones, White, Tony G and Michael Turner. Then in 2014 the Falcons got beat 34-3 at home to Carolina in a winner goes to the playoffs game. We beat Carolina earlier that season and was 5-0 in division games until Carolina mauled us.

My question is why do you think the Falcons struggled in playoff atmosphere under Mike Smith? And how can we avoid the same problem under Arthur Smith?

 

2008 - our QB made a couple rookie mistakes, our OLine got smashed, Milloy got beat deep and Brooking bit on a 3rd and 16 play fake

2012 - we whiffed at a snap, had a trip pick, didn’t see a wide open TE for the game winner and tripped over a hash mark

A little better execution in those two and Smitty is 3-2 with a Super Bowl berth.

 

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2 hours ago, ya_boi_j said:

They played better teams

That's the easy answer but I think the answer is far more complex than that.

Maybe later when I get bored later I'll feel like hashing out my thoughts again for what seems like the millionth time.

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2 hours ago, ya_boi_j said:

They played better teams

I’ve always said this...

A good QB can drag a team to the playoffs.

The best team with make it to the Super Bowl.

The best defense of the two will win the championship.

 

A great QB can NOT win a championship by himself.

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1 hour ago, Macintez said:

I’ve always said this...

A good QB can drag a team to the playoffs.

The best team with make it to the Super Bowl.

The best defense of the two will win the championship.

 

A great QB can NOT win a championship by himself.

No single player can.

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It may boil down to the fact that Smitty was a coach with solid fundamentals and got the most out of regular season ball.  The playoffs are where legends are made and Smitty had no real answer for that time of year.

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4 hours ago, Falcons Fan MVP said:

When Mike Smith was head coach for the Falcons the Falcons would often play well all season and then lay a big egg in the playoffs or in win or go home type games. The Falcons got crushed by the Packers 48-21 after beating them in the regular season and earning the 1 seed in 2010. The Falcons got beat 24-2 by the Giants in the playoffs after their offense played well all year with Ryan, Jones, White, Tony G and Michael Turner. Then in 2014 the Falcons got beat 34-3 at home to Carolina in a winner goes to the playoffs game. We beat Carolina earlier that season and was 5-0 in division games until Carolina mauled us.

My question is why do you think the Falcons struggled in playoff atmosphere under Mike Smith? And how can we avoid the same problem under Arthur Smith?

 

In both the Green Bay and Giants example I would say it was a matter of a bad match-up and good gameplanning by the opposition.    The Packers were very explosive and knew they had to take away our power run and play action with some early scores.  From what I remember in the Giants game their defensive front four just manhandled our line.  I think the Carolina game was the players had given up on Smitty and even a playoff appearance might not have saved his job.  Overall he was probably the best HC we have had but after the NFCCG in 2012 we fell into the trap of thinking we were basically a lock for the Super Bowl and lost focus on those details (TOP, stopping the run, penalties)  that Smith had always emphasized.  When you consider that every team that we lost to in the playoffs under Smith either represented the NFC in the Super Bowl or won it, his playoff record doesn't look so bad.  

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