ATLANTA (CBS46) – Just when you thought the Atlanta Falcons couldn’t do it again, they again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. This time, head coach Dan Quinn, already on the hottest seat in the NFL, may not be able to survive.
It’s not just the Falcons lost on Sunday. It’s not just that they’re 0-3. It’s not just that they are the first team ever to lose back-to-back games DESPITE leading by 15 or more points in the fourth quarter. It’s the fact the franchiser is listing at sea and wasting the final years of a franchise quarterback and a once-in-a-generation wide receiver. The Falcons’ collapse for two straight weeks baffled football historians, analytics people, and fans alike.
Atlanta’s not the only team to blow a big lead. Sunday, the Bills blew a lead on Sunday too. The difference is, the Bills managed to come back just enough to win.
For Atlanta, the only thing fans know since that horrific night in Texas when a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl is pain. The pain of watching 7-9 seasons, the pain of 0-3 starts, the pain of seeing other teams in the division sign and draft talented players to surround franchise quarterbacks and even sign future Hall of Fame quarterbacks.
The question for Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank is what to do now?
He very nearly fired Quinn last season after a disastrous start. He held off and Quinn’s team stormed back to finish with a respectable 7-9 record. But, the problems that existed last year, namely a horrific defense, remained and have continued to rear their ugly head any time the Falcons build any lead in the 2020 season.
This season, the Falcons’ defense rank 31st in yards allowed, dead last in points allowed, 30th in first downs allowed, 31st in passing yards allowed and 31 in passing touchdowns allowed. While the run defense is marginally better, ranking 13th in yards allowed, but 28th in touchdowns allowed. The team’s defense also allows 36 points per game, which would be good…for a college team in the Big XII.
If Blank chooses to fire Quinn, fans may be happy in the short term. But then the question comes of who will take over for Quinn? It would likely be offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter because defensive coordinator Raheem Morris’ side of the ball has been abysmal. Fans might revolt if they put the man in charge of the defense in charge of the team, even though he does have head coaching experience.
But the longer term question is where do the Falcons go from here? Do they continue to try to build a winner around Matt Ryan, or do they consider making a move to start a complete rebuild? There are no easy answers, but we’ll know more once Quinn’s job security is determined.