Once the Falcons went down by three touchdowns against the Packers Saturday night, the game was all but over.
The Falcons have shown a remarkable propensity for coming back from a score, and sometimes even two. That's because they are built to keep games close and win them, based as they are on a power running attack, an accurate short passing game and a scoring-stingy defense. Every now and then, the team can even dial up the big play, most often when Roddy White flips the tiny switch on his back from "God Mode" to "God's God Mode" and messily devours a screaming cornerback. But to get the Falcons back from 21 or more?
In extremely condensed form, here's why I think that is: This team is built to be conservative. They're meant to beat the piss out of an opposing defense, grind their way downfield and conserve leads on the backs of a ball-control offense and an opportunistic defense. Everything from the choice of offensive coordinator down to the choice of running back for this team tells me the Falcons have consciously decided to emphasize that kind of attack.
When the defense clamps down, the offense is excellent at preserving wins. Matt Ryan and company limit mistakes and finely dice time itself, even if they're not moving down the field. Unfortunately, they're either unwilling or unable to switch that game plan to a full-blown aerial assault when the defense is getting rocked. It's rare that it happens, but when it does, the Falcons are not able to recover.
So my question to you is: How do you fix something like that? Do the Falcons simply need to put an elite defense on the field and sally forth as they have? Do they need to build a more aggressive, potent offense capable of scoring from anywhere on the field? Or is it somewhere in between.