Playoffs?!? Falcons look dead in that department

Falcons owner Arthur Blank can’t be pleased with his team’s tailspin. (Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

TAMPA –To read my take on the Falcons’ 23-19 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, click this link.

Below are my three “short takes” on the game.

1. Playoffs?!? You kidding me?!? Playoffs?!? You can almost hear the famous Jim Mora quote echoing off the walls in the Falcons’ Flowery Branch headquarters. What once looked like a certainty at 5-0 is now unlikely. Here’s why: After five straight losses and six in the last seven games, the Falcons are 6-6. The best they can finish is 10-6. They still have to play Carolina twice, and it will be a challenge to beat the Panthers once, let alone sweep them. The Falcons’ other games are at Jacksonville and home against New Orleans in the season finale. The other problem is tiebreakers. With the NFC South Division race decided, the Falcons will need to scramble for a wild card berth, but they are 0-3 in the division and 4-5 in the conference. So they likely would have to win the spot outright. The two wild card spots right now are owned by Minnesota (8-4) and Seattle (7-5). The Falcons and Tampa Bay each are one game back, but the Falcons lose any tiebreaker to the Buccaneers, having been swept in the season series.

2. Ryan wasn’t awful but wasn’t great: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (30 of 45, 269 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception) has been dreadful of late but I don’t know how much blame to assign to him for this loss because pass protection was poor (three sacks) and he had at least three passes that were dropped, including a crucial one by Nick Williams in the fourth quarter that would’ve gained a first down when the Falcons were leading 19-16. But Ryan did not do enough to beat a mediocre team, and in the end it was a rookie quarterback Jameis Winston who accomplished something Ryan didn’t: The Bucs’ QB won the game with a 20-yard scramble and a six-yard touchdown pass to Mike Evans. After five interceptions in the previous two weeks, Ryan didn’t throw one Sunday until the end. But “Matty Ice” used to come through in those situations.

3. Arthur Blank can’t be a happy man: This is a big season for the Falcons’ owner, not so much on the field as off of it. Blank is desperately trying to sell Personal Seat Licenses (PSLs) in the new stadium, which is scheduled to open in 2017. But the team is coming off a 6-10 season and this is looking like a non-playoff year. There’s an obvious sales ripple effect from the lack of enthusiasm suddenly around the team, a contrast to the first six weeks of the season. The last thing Blank wants to do is put PSLs on Groupon.

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Reader Comments 0

31 comments
E983
E983

An OC can make or break a QB if they're not in sync. Quinn makes it clear that the two are working together. The other is bad pass and run blocking. This team has another year of draft choices and free agents to fill gaps. The defense has greatly improved over the past few seasons and will only get better. Even the OL is better than the last two seasons but it needs some help. The Falcons are still lacking in offensive line and defensive talent. Injurys and bad draft choices from the past 3 years have made a mess of this team. That's what got Smitty fired. Dan Quinn wasn't blessed with talent like Mike Smith. All he had to do was get a running back and a QB and he was almost in a Super Bowl. Anyway you look at this team from the start or now and it's only an 8 and 8 from start to finish. The 5 - 0 start was a new team with no film. No secrets now. More salary cap money and hopefully better choices in talent will make a difference. A couple of wins wouldn't hurt either.

vpdii
vpdii

Tom Brady isnt great because of his OC. Peyton Manning isnt great because of his OC. The same goes for Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.Matt Ryan is 1-4 in the playoffs without his current OC.so how is Kyle Shanahan all of a sudden to blame? I am not even saying that Shanahan is all of that, but playcallling and execution are two different things. Did anyone pay attention to what the DC for the vikings said last week about Ryan? Take away his first option and he shows his issues. Ryan came into this organization when we badly needed a QB and he fit the bill perfectly but he has not been able to take this team to the next level and that is just the fact. Our defense isnt good enough to shut other teams down like the Seahawks did with Russell Wilson, so we can't even rely on that. We can put Ryan into the same category with Tony Romo and Philip Rivers....very good QBs that are stuck in limbo......they will win a lot of games but they will never get you to the next level.

MoreySims
MoreySims

new coach, a bunch of losses---arthur's getting tired of this. he will give quinn another year to get the trainwreck cleaned up---if not, he'll fire him like the rest!

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

Not to worry, the Falcons will crush the Panthers in both games and make the playoffs because Newton is a washed up excuse of a QB 

Joe Tess' Mom
Joe Tess' Mom

@Infraredguy Uh, a Falcons sweep would be nice, but it's not gonna happen. Cam is legit MVP candidate right now.

Infinite Hope
Infinite Hope

Player-hate all you want, but responsibility for this mess lies at the feet of Blank himself and his toady Dimitroff.  This is true vindication for Smitty, who must be feeling much better about the effort he made here (with no authority over personnel).  F-this bunch of clowns.

Pat_Pending
Pat_Pending

 Arthur Blank cannot be happy that a first round draft pick (8th overall) was wasted on Vic Beasley Jr. Check the stat sheet - he pitched another shutout - 0 tackles, 0 assisted tackles, 0 sacks. If I'm Lovie Smith, I immediately cut the lineman who held Beasley. "You don't have to do that, fool!"

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

We really have no Offensive line..... We really really suc in that department....  Matty Ice really does have a sub-par arm...  and his bone head interceptions are epic...

OH:IO
OH:IO

FIRE BFF SCHANNY! 

candlin14
candlin14

I was preaching this after the second loss to Tampa, the third loss to the 49ers, and finally the fourth loss to the Colts. If Quinn wanted to act like a head coach and wanted the fans of Atlanta to know he has balls and means business, he would have done it. What is the worst that could have happened??? WE GO 0-5??? I believe that already happened.


Quinn should have went for it against the 49ers and he sure as hell should have told Dimitrioff that "I dont care if you dont believe in midseason trades, we are going to make one happen because this roster is terrible"... We could have easily gotten something for Coleman, Hester, Nick Williams, Jacob Tamme, or even the worst Corner back in the NFL, Jalen Collins. Instead we let the trade deadline pass, and the Bears were willing to dump everybody. 


Terrible Coaching, Terrible Play Calling, Terrible Ownership, and one god awful General Manager. That is why we are terrible!!!

slydawg
slydawg

JS, You have to start at the very top and that is with Dimitroff. The guy can pick up some descent players near the top of the draft but he is a disaster when it comes to filling out the roster.

Remember all those winning seasons under Mike Smith? Because Mike Smith's teams played within their talent level and didn't beat themselves. He coached them up through smoke and mirrors. The rest of the NFL caught up to this sleight of hand and the walls came tumbling down, but somehow humpty dumpty kept his job. Mike Smith lost his when he could no longer make fools out of the other coaches.

If Mike Smith could not turn chicken poop into chicken salad, then no rookie head coach nor an arrogant offensive coordinator is too. The Falcons need to stop trying to outsmart somebody and get back to the basics of building a football team.

Trading up for Julio Jones was a mistaken response to getting blowed out 48-23 at home with home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Then you triple down the bet by resigning him. Dimitroff needs to hit the door before Christmas. Period. How many talented defensive players and offensive linemen have been passed over by this baffoon?

Ryan has average talent and an average arm and we all have known that before he was drafted, yet the dummy failed to put any protection around him except an overweight running back.

The Falcons will not get anything right until Dimitroff is gone. It's a waste of energy and time to nitpick everything else until you take care of the 4 general manager's sniffing around Mr.Blank and surround himself with real football men. Go steal Ozzie Newsome from the Ravens. Nuff said.

candlin14
candlin14

@slydawg


You are spot on. By the way Jeff Shultz, tell Mark Bradley to go play in traffic. He cursed this season after his 5-0 Book it Danno article about the Falcons making the playoffs

JR947
JR947

Word on the street has it that the Falcons will select Aundray Bruce in next year's NFL Draft and re-hire Marion Campbell for his third stint as the Falcons Head Coach.

MondayMorningQB
MondayMorningQB

Come on people! Expecting a first year head coach to take your team to the Super Bowl is a bit much. There will be some growing pains. Give them about 3 years to get the train on the tracks and watch out here we come. As for the PSL's every fan should tell them to shove it. Winning or not. Either way go Falcons!

candlin14
candlin14

@MondayMorningQB


Sorry but Quinn just entered a spot in the stat archives he surely does not want to be in. The falcons had a +90% chance of making the playoffs after a 5-0 start. He will be one of a very few group of teams who didn't.


Not to mention Quinn had a chance to save the season by grabbing his balls and firing Shanahan... What was the worst that could happen??? WE LOSE 5 in a row, oh wait we already did that!!!!

Big Wally
Big Wally

Paul Worrilow would be a back up for the Edmonton Eskimos.

TOJacket
TOJacket

When do the "Dream" start playing?.........good grief!

Big Wally
Big Wally

Good one below Matt.  


Though personally, I think Shanahan is more like Jackie Gleeson's son in the Smokey and the Bandit movies.

Big Wally
Big Wally

The team will never be anything as long as Dimitroff and Pioli have anything to do with acquiring talent.  All they did was get Bill Belichick his coffee and donuts when he made the personnel decisions when they were in New England.  They misrepresented themselves in regards to their 'importance' when they were there.  Blank has been suckered by them two and their idiotic catch phrases like 'system specific drafting'.


almmanduane75
almmanduane75

The upcoming mock drafts already has the Falcons passing on Derrick Henry for yet another non-descript defensive player.

When will the sports teams in this city realize that championships are won with star players?

Julio Jones can't do it by himself.

What a frustrating region to follow college and pro sports.

"Pants Up" "Don't Loot"

slydawg
slydawg

Derrick Henry is a stiff. He is a bruising red zone back at best in the league. Alabama's offensive line are opening up these huge holes against boys. In the NFL, it''s about getting skinny in those small creases and exploding out the other end. Derrick Henry is not that type of every down back. He's a better fit in Dallas, Seattle, or San Francisco. They should have taken Gurley. And that's 20/20 hindsight because I was on board with the Beasley pick.

candlin14
candlin14

@almmanduane75


We have one of the best RBs in the league and you want to draft another RB?? Dude watch the games, this team needs a pass rusher, a line backer, and some O Lineman

HistoryofMatt
HistoryofMatt

Matt Ryan spent 7 seasons as a very good quarterback. No, he wasn't Brady, Rodgers, or Brees. But he was very good, at the same level of competence as Joe Flacco and Eli Manning.


Kyle Shanahan is hired by the Falcons after throwing a hissy fit to get out his contract in Cleveland, who has never earned anything in his entire life, who helped burn down his father's Redskins team (read it here: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/writer/jason-la-canfora/24375961/kyle-shanahan-staff-inexperience-at-core-of-redskins-dysfunction), who thinks he invented the game of football, who continues to demand Ryan fit his offense, instead of fitting what Ryan does well.


Ryan is suddenly not a very good quarterback anymore.


I'm sorry... but this is not a coincidence.


Ryan has never played this poorly. Ever. What is the variable that's changed? Could it be Kyle "Nepotism" Shanahan, the Fredo Corleone of the NFL?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rg8jODlrka0