Welcome back to Overreaction Monday, where this week there is no reaction that would qualify as an overreaction — BECAUSE EVERYBODY LOST.
Skinny: 5-3, 3-3 (second place in SEC East). Last week: Lost to Florida 27-3. Next week: Home against Kentucky.
Overreaction narrative: “I’m done with Mark Richt.”
Reality check: I’m done with Mark Richt, too. (Also, with Brian Schottenheimer, but let’s stick with the bigger picture for now.) It took me a long time to reach this point. I was almost there when the 6-7 season of 2010 was followed by a season-opening smackdown by Boise State in 2011. But Richt turned that season around and his team had a strong performance the following year before fading again. Bottom line: I think it would be in the best interest of both parties if Georgia thanked Mark Richt for all he has done in Athens and then he resigns. This is not a situation you want to get ugly. But it’s difficult to get a read on athletic director Greg McGarity right now. Would he push the button if the Dogs win their final four games and finish 9-3 (pre bowl)? I don’t know the answer to that. I’m not sure he knows the answer to that right now.
Skinny: 3-6, 1-5 (seventh place in ACC Coastal). Last week: Lost 27-21 at Virginia. Next week: Bye. (Next game: Thursday, Nov. 12, vs. Virginia Tech.)
Overreaction narrative: “I told you the win over Florida State was an aberration.”
Reality check: No argument. I thought Tech would beat Virginia, not because I suddenly believed the Jackets were a great team but because Virginia wasn’t that good, either. Also, the Jackets played so well defensively against Florida State and seemed to catch some mojo with the implausible finish that game — a blocked field goal attempt followed by a 78-yard return for a touchdown at the end of regulation — that Tech seemingly had a chance to finish the season strong. But no. Nothing is going to safe this season. The Jackets continue to have significant offensive problems, stemming largely from line issues, and rushed for 144 yards. In an option, that’s low. The Jackets’ defensive front also allowed 233 yards rushing. This is Virginia, not the power rushing attack of the Seattle Seahawks. Tech theoretically can still qualify for a bowl game but that would mean beating Virginia Tech, Miami (road) and Georgia, and they may be underdogs in all three.
DATELINE: GEORGIA DOME
Skinny: 6-2 (second place in NFC South). Last week: Lost 23-20 in overtime to Tampa Bay. Next week: at San Francisco.
Overreaction narrative: “This team won’t make the playoffs.”
Reality check: Yeah, they will. The Falcons lost the game largely because of turnovers — four, which led to all 20 Tampa Bay points in regulation. Turnovers aren’t about scheme or skill or even coaching. JUST DON’T DROP THE BALL. See how that works? The Falcons have 12 turnovers in the last four games after committing only two in the first four. But there are other reasons for concern. The offense struggled in the red zone against the Buccaneers. Their first five trips into that “score zone” resulted in two turnovers, two field goals and only one touchdown. If the Falcons get to the end zone in just one of those other drives, they win the game. Quarterback Matt Ryan seemingly is struggling with reads in run-pass option plays (which led to one of the fumbles during a botched exchange with Devonta Freeman) and it would really help if offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan could elevate Roddy White into something more than a blocker in the weekly game plan. Because the guy can make clutch catches, you know? Defensively, the Falcons were beat up, losing two starting cornerbacks (Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford) and two linemen (Tyson Jackson, Paul Soliai) during the game, after starting without safety William Moore. Until the defense gets healthy — and until some semblance of a pass rush is found — the Falcons are going to need to score more points.
•Recent ramblings • Mark Richt has failed too many big moments — it’s time for a change at Georgia • Falcons may be 6-2 but they don’t look the part • Short takes: Sloppy Falcons gift-wrap game for mediocre Bucs • Matt Ryan: ‘It comes down to me being better’ • Weekend Predictions: Jacksonville on Halloween? Ooh, scary: Gators over Dogs • Georgia’s quarterback problems fall at Mark Richt’s feet • Budenholzer can coach but can he build a champion? • Overreaction Monday: Ryan’s off, Tech’s alive and Georgia… • Georgia Tech has unforgettable moment in otherwise forgettable season • Short takes on Georgia Tech’s miracle win over Florida State • Weekend Predictions: Falcons win, Jackets lose, ACC miserable • (Full column) Rick Pitino should lose job, culpable for Louisville mess • Rick Pitino may not survive latest claims regarding strippers, recruits • Overreaction Monday: Would Richt give Ramsey another look? • Misery like this shouldn’t happen at Georgia Tech • Short takes: Tech’s run of bowls, non-losing ACC seasons will end • Falcons flash some of their ugly past in loss to Saints • Short takes: Falcons still plagued by poor pass rush, turnovers • Weekend Predictions: Spurrier, Cubs, Playboy…and Georgia can still win SEC East! • Spurrier changed face of SEC, and then he walked out the back door • Health would be Spurrier’s only good excuse for retiring in middle of season • Florida quarterback suspended for PEDs — and claims of, ‘I didn’t know’ ring hollow • Overreaction Monday: Chubb’s loss isn’t Georgia’s only problem • There goes Chubb, there goes a loss, there goes Georgia’s season • Short takes: After loss, Georgia is trailing even Kentucky in SEC East • It’s too late to save season but Sefolosha deserved to hear words, ‘Not guilty’ • Weekend Predictions: No fantasy, Chihuahuas will rebound (I think) • Braves may have a plan but it will be a while before masses buy in • Here’s your Depressed Braves Fan viewing guide to the postseason • Overeaction Monday: Now is not time to make decision on Richt • Falcons 4-0, Freeman 7 TDs — who didn’t see that coming? • Short takes: An easy Falcons win, and this is a team to take seriously • Richt and Georgia fall off stage again when it matters most • Short takes: Georgia’s reality check — there’s a problem at quarterback • Georgia needs win over Alabama to alter perceptions • Weekend Predictions: Nothing sinister here – Dogs over Bama • Georgia hired Jeremy Pruitt for games like this • Nationals are a more attractive mess than the Braves • Overreaction Monday: Georgia may be 4-0 but season starts now • Georgia now can prepare for opponent that matters most: Alabama