Remember last week? I sure do. It feels like only a few days ago. As per usual, the Atlanta Falcons were hit with another major injury to their defense after their defense had already hemorrhaged yards and points for four quarters and one awful overtime drive.
We offered up some potential fixes for the team that would be just enough glue and tape to keep the defense together until Deion Jones returns. Those players included Eric Reid, John Simon, and Earl Thomas. Those players have been signed by the Carolina Panthers, signed by the New England Patriots, and broken their leg, respectively.
It looks like Quinn missed his opportunity entirely to shore up the problematic secondary. There were options, but he was not interested in any starters.
Dan Quinn said he's not looking into a starting caliber safety like Eric Reid or looking to trade for a starter like Earl Thomas. Confident in Kazee at FS. Richards, Ishmael at strong— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) September 24, 2018
Well, lets see how that plan worked out. Kemal Ishmael only played on special teams. Jordan Richards only played 19 defensive snaps. Last Monday’s plan didn’t last six days. Instead, Brian Poole played a lot of safety, pushing the very raw Isaiah Oliver into action.
None of that worked. Andy Dalton toss up 37 points.
You don’t end up at 1-3 without some problems. Criticism will come naturally from that record. Unfortunately, Quinn painted himself into a corner. The easiest moves are gone. The Falcons were struggling with the loss of Adrian Clayborn and Dontari Poe, then they lost Keanu Neal, Deion Jones, and Ricardo Allen. That’s five starters from 2017, and the Falcons have signed Sharrod Neasman.
Sorry, but that’s a bad move. This is reminiscent of watching the league’s worst defense in 2014. We heard each week the staff would look at personnel, scheme, and play calling, and we saw the exact same result every week.
Sometimes teams need to be aggressive. Last week was Atlanta’s time to do that. The Falcons defense may improve, but it’s not going to bounce back to a strength with this personnel.