The Atlanta Falcons traveled to Pittsburgh to battle the Steelers in week five of the season. Here is what we learned from the Falcons 41-17 loss.
Another week of Falcons football and another week of plenty of places to point the finger. The injuries on defense are enough to make you stomach churn. Once again, the depleted defense allowed a number of big plays and gave way to 381 total yards, 9-of-12 on third down, and 34 points (Steelers scored on a defensive fumble recovery).
The offense could not find their footing in this one also which was of course disappointing. Given that fact that the return of running back Devonta Freeman added another playmaker to the equation, many including myself expected to see the Falcons offense produce a few big plays themselves and at the very least, make this game competitive.
Instead, we saw an offensive unit that only mustered 324 yards and just 17 points. Easily it’s second worst offensive performance of the season.
It leaves many to wonder: Where do the Falcons go from here?
A very good question at this juncture of the season. Injuries have truly gutted the Falcons physically and mentally as well. There seems to be no sense of direction and as the weeks go by, the team takes that one necessary step towards reality.
The often-used cliche “things can only go up from here” can easily be inserted into any discussion about this team. With the amount of talent that the team possess while healthy along with their financial future, things can really go up from here. Not to mention that in all honesty, the schedule from here on out gets a little easier for the Falcons, whatever that ends up meaning.
Head coach Dan Quinn will probably not allow this team to just lie down and wallow. The rest of the coaching staff will probably not allow that also. The same can be said for general manager Thomas Dimitroff and owner Arthur Blank. There is technically still a glimmer of silver lining for the Falcons and things could get turned around significantly. That is based on the talent left on the team.
However, a veteran-led team has to also find it within themselves. The season did not present an ideal situation for the Falcons and early on, it appeared that an emergency plan was never evident. The playoffs is a destination that is too far ahead and too remote to be observed from where we are. Right now, the Falcons just need to focus on steering down a more obtainable path.