If you’re a Falcons fan and you don’t drink, I have no idea how you do it. Games like the one we saw on Sunday are why my liver will shrivel up and die before I hit 50, if that. It was a frustrating game against a clearly inferior opponent that used to be the hallmark of the Mike Smith era. I normally have some positive vibes to offer, but alas, I’m all burned out after the Sunday disaster against the Dolphins.
Sarkisian is struggling
Frankly, this is one of the most frustrating aspects of this team. Many people expected a regression - myself included - but this game raises concerns over whether the Falcons new offensive coordinator is going to pull it together. I expected there to be bumps in the road, but what we’re seeing is far more than just that.
Whether it’s the limited targets (and no touchdowns) for Julio Jones or the surprisingly low number of carries for Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman in the second half, there are serious questions about why we can’t get our best play makers the ball on a more consistent basis.
Granted, Sark is having to learn a new offense for his first go-round running an NFL offense. Inconsistency should be expected. However, this team has way too much talent to struggle like this on a regular basis.
Before we start the chants to fire Sarkisian, though, let’s keep in mind that this is the first game (since the first drive against the Packers) where he had his true starting OL and his best WR in the game. It was not an inspiring second half, but the wheels haven’t fallen off completely ... yet.
Our D isn’t there yet
The second half of the game against the Dolphins started with a long, extended drive by the Jay Cutler led offense. They methodically ate up the clock en route to their first touchdown. It was a frustrating drive that was extended by terrible penalties (some of which were questionable) and a frustrating inability to finish tackles - a theme we’ve heard all season.
Additionally, the fast start for the Falcons pass rush came to a grinding halt in this game, as the Falcons were unable to consistently pressure Jay Cutler. This was with Vic Beasley back in the lineup as well.
It was an uninspiring defensive performance, though they are not solely to blame for this loss - not in the least. This is still a defense with a ton of talent, but they’re not the top-10 unit we hoped they would become.
Discipline is a major issue
This one speaks for itself. Whether it’s holding penalties, false starts or unsportsmanlike conduct, this Falcons team has repeatedly shot itself in the foot, and it’s now costing them games. This is an issue that can be corrected, but after 5 games played, it’s concerning that it is still an issue at all. Dan Quinn needs to grab the ear of every player on this team and make the message crystal clear. If they can’t fix these types of issues, it won’t matter how well they execute on offense or defense going forward.
What are your key takeaways from the dumpster fire against the Dolphins?