Dan Quinn is perhaps dealing with the most criticism of his head coaching career. The Atlanta Falcons fought back from injuries and early season struggles to get back in the playoff race. As they do, things quickly fell apart. The Falcons dropped two winnable games thanks in part to poor coaching.
Dan Quinn’s team is essentially out of the playoffs at the earliest point of his Falcons career, which has some people taking a closer look at the coaching staff. Some of what they have found has been alarming.
Scott Kacsmar of Football Outsiders looked at blown leads. This material is not intended for children or sensitive viewers.
Falcons have blown 12 4Q leads under Dan Quinn (2015-18).— Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) November 19, 2018
Only team with more in that span is Chargers (14). https://t.co/hkrAdWFhI8
You could say this number may be a bit inflated due to more postseason games than the Chargers, but there’s no way to ignore how bad this is. While you can attribute a couple this season to major injuries, this number across multiple seasons suggests serious coaching deficiencies. If the Falcons are blowing this many leads, it’s due, in part, to game management issues.
Game management issues? We just had a few of those the last few weeks.
Falcons only blew 3 4Q leads in Mike Smith's first 4 seasons (2008-2011).— Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) November 19, 2018
Falcons have blown 12 4Q leads in Dan Quinn's first 4 seasons (2015-2018).
Falcons blew 8 4Q leads from the 2012 NFC Championship Game thru 2014 under Smith, which led to his firing.
These numbers may also be a bit inflated. Mike Mularkey played “exotic smashmouth,” which was code for playing ultraconservative then giving Matt Ryan the reins in the no-huddle to pull the team out of that hole. (Side note: why do offensive coordinators hate letting Matt Ryan do what he’s best at?) Ryan had the most game-winning drives in the NFL, usually because the team was always behind.
Regardless, these numbers do not look good for Quinn. His job is almost certainly safe going into next year, but he should definitely take a cue from Sean McVay’s playbook and add a specialized game-management coach responsible for things like timeouts and 4th down attempts.