After an impressive 4-1 start, Atlanta is only 3-4 since October 9th. Dan Quinn is quickly running out of options. Injuries are mounting. Young players are being forced into big roles they can't quite handle. The red zone offense is in shambles. No way can this team miss the playoffs two years in a row.
Especially with the team calling a new stadium home next season. The nearly $1.5 billion stadium is a mix of glass, steel, and engineering prowess that will become a staple of Atlanta architecture. It is truly the only structure fit for a mysterious, 41-foot tall bird deity with an insatiable lust for blood. The powerful falcon demands a sacrifice after every game. Win or lose, Quinn forces another friend into the bird's pit of fire hidden in the Flower Branch indoor practice field.
The mood at Falcons HQ is decidedly paranoid. Players and coaches are missing left and right. A janitor found a badly, badly burned Hawaiian shirt and no one has seen Ricardo Allen in weeks. Richard Smith's office has been empty for months and he hasn't called. The reporters have been wondering why everything smells like smoke, and have begun to raise their eyebrows at the loud cawing noises from the indoor practice field that no one is allowed in anymore.
People are jumpy, but Quinn can't come empty-handed to the bird. With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers now tied for first in the NFC South, he needed to go bold. What bold decision could he make that would appease this bird god?
"Hey, a giant falcon. Let me tell you this joke I remember from 5th grade about pussy willows."
Even an MVP candidacy can't save Ryan. There was a lot of blame to go around from yesterday's game, but Quinn couldn't overlook making Eric Berry the team's leading wide receiver. Tossing the football anywhere near Berry's direction during a two-point conversion while down one point can be problematic, and it was ultimately Atlanta's final play.
Falcons had no chance to come back from that play. It was the game killer, and quite simply, you have to be more careful with the ball in that situation.
Who gets the game ball? Atlanta's always consistent running back Devonta Freeman.
He's a man on fire and accounted for over 100 offensive yards against the vaunted Chiefs defense. He cleaned up his ball security issues from last year, and has been a threat running and catching the ball. He's not going to put up huge numbers splitting reps with Tevin Coleman, but is one of the most important components of Atlanta's offense.