You can't expect an offense with the pieces to be a legitimate juggernaut to fire on all cylinders every week, but I think you can expect them to score more than 16 points against the San Francisco 49ers. That might be why a little frustration is bubbling to the surface right now, summed up nicely in this piece from D. Orlando Ledbetter.
"We are doing all of the right things, but we have to play a little faster as far as getting in and out of the huddle," said Jones, who finished 10 catches for 137 yards. "We just have to play faster."
"We’ve been on film for the last several weeks now." White said. "We’ve got to mix it up. Find other ways to clean up formations, motion guys and Texas (no huddle) and stuff like that. Everybody is running the same plays in the NFL."
"Anytime that you don’t play up to your standard, we are all going to evaluate what we need to do differently," Ryan said. "But from a play-calling standpoint, I thought Kyle called a good game.
"I think from a player’s perspective, we’ve got to make it work. That’s always the mindset that I have. I don’t think from a player’s perspective that we did enough to get it done."
The trio of Julio Jones, Matt Ryan, and Roddy White are the three sources for this piece, and while all are pretty diplomatic, it's obvious all is not well here. The Falcons have struggled mightily to get receiving options aside from Jones, Jacob Tamme and Devonta Freeman involved in the offense, a problem exacerbated when Leonard Hankerson started missing time and took away the obvious #2 wide receiver. With Ryan throwing some inaccurate passes, Julio dropping the occasional pass, and Roddy disappearing from the game plan for huge chunks of the game, everyone's got a reason to point the finger at themselves, and everyone also has a reason to be dissatisfied with Kyle Shanahan.
I don't think the no-huddle is the panacea some believe it to be, but I think it's equally obvious that Matt Ryan is more comfortable and more effective utilizing it as part of the game plan. I don't believe Roddy White is locked down on every passing play, even if he's very obviously not getting open at the same clip as before. And I don't think it's necessarily in Julio Jones' best interest to catching the ball on short routes and having to take huge hits or run for extra yardage every time out. As we saw on that beautiful deep bomb to Julio before halftime, this offense is perfectly capable of flashing, but it needs to do so consistently. It's incumbent on these players and Shanahan to figure out why it isn't.
Jeanna will be at Dan Quinn's presser today and will have more on the play calling and the offense, so stay tuned for that.