The Atlanta Falcons lost their third straight game tonight. Assuming you watched the entire game, none of what I’m about to say will come as a surprise; maybe you’ll even agree with me! At 3-3, the Falcons have to turn it around quickly, because mediocre football teams don’t generally make the playoffs. Here are my key takeaways:
Steve Sarkisian is still trying to find his way
Sark is arguably the least popular person at Flowery Branch right now. Some of his play calling induces an unhealthy amount of head scratching. What’s absolutely clear is that he hasn’t figured out how to use his best weapons effectively. Was it unfair to expect Sark to step into Kyle Shanahan’s shoes and pick up right where he left off? Perhaps. But this offense is way too talented on paper to look so uninspired week after week. That takes me to my next point.
The Falcons aren’t playing inspired football right now
These are professional football players. I despise armchair quarterbacks that question the effort of NFL players. But this isn’t about the players; it’s primarily about the coaching staff, in my opinion. Last year and during the offseason we heard a lot about “Brotherhood.” The coaching staff had the players believing in something. Right now the Falcons don’t look like they’re on the same page. I’m not sure what can be done between now and the next home game on November 12th, but this is going to be a rough road trip if they don’t do something.
The Super Bowl hangover is real
It’s time to acknowledge the elephant in the room. It’s not necessarily the Super Bowl loss that has this team reeling. But this isn’t even the same team and the roster hasn’t changed much. I’m not going to offer a diagnosis, because it’s not even clear what’s ailing the Falcons. But it’s hard to argue now that their current slump is completely unrelated.