Every Sunday’s getting more bleak,
A fresh poison every week.
– Hozier, “Take Me to Church”
It’s never easy to realize your football team is nowhere close to being a good squad, but that seems to be the reality for fans of the Atlanta Falcons.
Now, owner Arthur Blank needs to make a move.
Normally, I’m not one to call for heads after a slow start to a football season. In this instance, I’m going to make an exception.
Somebody needs to be relieved of his duties in the organization, if not several folks.
Since losing the NFC Championship game at the Georgia Dome in January 2013, the Falcons have a 6-17 record. The defense has been bad, and the offense – considering how much monetary focus has been placed on that side of the ball – has been even worse. They’ve been held to 20 or fewer points in four of seven games this season, and that shouldn’t happen with so much frequency, if ever.
Yes, it’s only Week 7 and there’s always the chance of a miraculous turnaround, but it’s not likely. Especially with a bunch that’s banged up and was never very good to begin with.
Waiting until the end of the season to make changes instead of blowing up this mess as soon as possible means wasting time and further delaying a major rebuilding project. There isn’t a minute to waste with this team, because the franchise player has no help around him and it’s going to lead to major injuries, sooner than later.
So is it head coach Mike Smith and his staff that need to go, or is it general manager Thomas Dimitroff? That decision is up to the owner, but I don’t think many Falcons fans would disagree with Blank blowing up the whole shebang in the middle of the season.
At this point, the Falcons have no shot at winning road games. They hardly win at home either, but they at least stand a chance in the Georgia Dome, where they’ve won both of their games in 2014 so far.
And as the schedule pans out, the Falcons won’t play in Atlanta again until Nov. 23, when the Browns come to town. They have a “home” game in London coming up, and then two more road games. They’ll also have to play Green Bay and New Orleans on the road later in the year.
They don’t stand much of a chance to turn this thing around.
But let me ask you this – would anyone really want the Falcons to make the playoffs anyway? They’re clearly flawed, and can’t win on the road. If they qualified for the postseason as the champion of a horribly weak NFC South, they’d eventually have to go on the road against one of the best teams in the conference, and they wouldn’t stand a chance.
It would be better to spend the rest of this season looking ahead to 2015.
If the Falcons intend to be a Super Bowl contender in the near future, they need to bolster the defense with lots of young talent. To do that, they’ll have to make a splash in the 2015 NFL Draft, not the remainder of the 2014 regular season.
It’s probably going to cost a few people their jobs, but change is needed when a team stops moving forward, as these Falcons have done.