It's time we all took a step back and reexamined everything.
The team has gone from a surprise success story to a muck of despair. The bye week fixed nothing. We've lost yet again to a quarterback that is not a starter, and we've lost yet another game we should have won, perhaps easily. Falcons fans, it's time you got rid of your entire set of expectations. Do not expect this team to win another game this year, and remind yourself that while the high lasted for 5 weeks, the truth reminds us that this team is still a long way from being where we want it.
The Falcons are a bad football team.
I am struggling to determine the problem with this team. After nearly two months of seeing the same turnover and penalty problems, I am not impressed with the coaching staff. After seeing Matt Ryan frequently stall out and the defense hemorrhage yardage to backup quarterbacks, I am not impressed with the schemes. After seeing more drops, slow plays, and bad decisions, I am not impressed with the current starting personnel. This is a bad football team, and they are not getting any better soon.
This is a painful team to watch right now
It would be one thing if this team was just bad all the time. It would almost be easier to digest and accept. The fact that this team shows flashes of being great, only makes this series of losses all the more painful. The team will look great, until they're undone by fumbles/penalties/drops/poor blocking/terrible interceptions/bad play calling. I know people are questioning Matt Ryan - and rightfully so - but he is far from the only issue here. These losses are reflective of a collective failure by the entire team (though mostly the offense), and the corrections will need to happen at every level, including coaches.
The Falcons are bad.
There's no way around it.
Playoff hopes are slowly slipping from Atlanta's grasp.
The playoffs, which at one point looked practically guaranteed, now look to be fading from reality for our Atlanta Falcons. There's no finger to be pointing here, because everyone's at blame. Ryan, along with the offensive line, Coach Quinn, Dimitroff, and Shanahan all deserve some criticism, yes, but to sit here and call for a massive coaching change or the trade of Matt Ryan is outright ridiculous. We might not look very good right now, but we're very much still in the thick of it. The fact that we're even worried about losing our playoff spot points towards a successful tenure in Atlanta for Dan Quinn (Matt Ryan will be a part of it, folks).
Tackles need to step up following recent struggles
Amongst all the offensive issues, the play of Jake Matthews and Ryan Schraeder has declined during this recent losing streak. Both players haven't allowed a sack since week six against New Orleans. Not allowing sacks doesn't justify an offensive lineman's performance. Matthews struggled against Trent Cole, as the veteran made him look silly at times. Cole had two hits and two hurries using an array of pass-rushing moves. Schraeder tends to let speed rushers turn the corner far too easily. Although he has only allowed two sacks this season, there have been several close calls where Ryan could have easily been stripped. With two aging veteran guards and a below-average center, both tackles need to become their biggest assets. That didn't occur on Sunday, as Ryan was under duress far too often. Both players will need to be at the top of their game against a vicious Vikings front seven.