Only a month ago, Dan Quinn looked to be the mastermind behind Atlanta's quick turnaround. The briefly dominant Falcons have since returned to the incompetent depths that got the last head coach fired. Quinn will have a much needed bye week to fix the problems plaguing the Falcons.
These problems can be fixed, but fans may wonder if they will be fixed. The last few years have been disappointing because Atlanta's coaches have stubbornly refused to make changes, adjustments, or fix outstanding problems on the team. After Quinn's bumbling decision at the end of the San Francisco 49ers game, and the meltdown in the last month, fans may feel like Smith never left.
Can Quinn prove he is more than Mike Smith 2.0?
If he is, Quinn will need to show it during the bye week. This team will need immediate changes if they want to have a winning season. Sticking to the same game plan will likely result in another top 10 draft pick.
The defense may be the one constant: not dominant, but a more sound unit than last year. They have done well enough to keep Atlanta in every game.
Some defensive changes can help the team. More blitzing may help the pass rush. Shuffling the lineup may cover up speed deficiencies from the starters. Desmond Trufant should probably shadow the top receiver.
Those changes would be nice to see, but the real problem is the offense. The offense turned into a conservative, predictable mess quicker than anyone could have predicted. Quinn has acknowledged that the offense is struggling, but he will need to implement some changes on the coaches and players.
Plenty of things with this offense do not make sense. Why has Roddy White played 542 snaps when he has been targeted only 28 times? If he is starting solely to block a corner, the team is basically playing with only 10 players on the field. Matt Ryan looks extremely uncomfortable in the offense, but still looks in control when in the no huddle. What is Kyle Shanahan's aversion to allowing Ryan to run the no huddle?
With all the offensive starters healthy, there is no reason for the unit to be so ineffective.
Quinn knows the team needs changes. And we will see what type of coach Quinn will be after the bye week: either one that can make the necessary adjustments to allow his team to win, or the type that will stubbornly stick to his plan.