Imagine, for a moment, that you buy a bad car. You have plenty of money but you're looking for something you can get by on. You don't expect too much from it; it would be nice if you could get from Point A to Point B with it. So you sign the dotted line, slap a bumper sticker on the back and drive that baby home.
But you don't make it home, because the damn car explodes at the end of your driveway.
I think you see where I'm going with this. The Falcons tantalize us by bumbling and stumbling to the finish line every single game. It's like a Three Stooges sketch every damn week, and it ends predictably when the Falcons agonizingly screw it up and barely lose. It's deeply frustrating to lose games like that; at least when we're getting blown out by the Giants, we can take some solace in the fact that we're playing like the bad team we are. When they barely lose to the Saints, however, I can't shake this feeling that our beloved Falcons actually might've been good enough to win it.
The fact that they're sitting at 1-6 right now should eliminate that line of thinking. I should look at what's passing for play calling on this team and pack it in for last year, and the intelligent part of me is busy trying to do that right now. But I still talk myself into it. I think about how well Leftwich did and how Harrington showed little signs of improvement and the defense was still playing reasonably well and aw screw it I want to go play in traffic.
I also came away from the Saints game today convinced that the coaching staff is single-handedly sabotaging the offense. There is no longer any excuse for continually allowing Warrick Dunn to go out there and embarass himself when Norwood quite simply is a better runner than him at this stage. I don't give a damn if he can't pick up a blitz as well as Dunn, because it's not like Dunn is out there blocking like Ovie Mughelli on every play. It's inexcusable to sacrifice the good of the team because you're ridiculously stubborn, and I'm calling Pet Rhino out for it. I want to hear a reasonable explanation for this that isn't "Norwood can't pick up a blitz" or "Dunn is a veteran, so his two yards per carry are worth more than Norwood's five."
And while we're on the subject, with one final drive to try to win the game you don't A) throw passes into the flat to your previously mentioned veteran running back and B) punt. Seriously, this season wasn't already careening down Lost Cause Hill at 400 miles an hour upside down? What possible purpose is there to sending the message that you don't even care enough to try to win the game? It makes me want to hide in a ditch.
So the challenge I'm putting out to the coaching staff is this: no more Saints game. Do the right thing for the team and go for broke if you're down, because the conservative gameplan is killing us. If the defense is on the field so much they can barely hold a lead anymore, that's because we have no running game. Try out Norwood, hell, try out Pinner. They can't--and I mean this with all due respect--do any worse than Dunn. And if Harrington is going to pass all day, figure out a way for him to get the ball downfield consistently, especially when we really need to move. Play to win the game with the personnel you have, because at this point in the season we have nothing to lose.