The Atlanta Falcons have red zone woes. In other news, the sky is blue and Dave hasn’t been sober since the Clinton administration. If you’ve been following this team for more than 24 hours and have a pulse, then you’re intimately familiar with the red zone woes. They are a real thing. They are factual. It doesn’t matter if the Falcons defense somehow compensates, or comes close to compensating, for the loss of Keanu Neal and Deion Jones; if the offense can’t start producing in the red zone, the loss column is going to see a lot of action this season.
It’s always nice when statistics back up what we already know to be true. We know the Falcons are inept in the red zone because we saw it with our own eyes over the course of an entire season in 2017. And then we saw the sequel last week. Lucky for us, the numbers really don’t lie, and [spoiler alert] the numbers tell the exact same story.
It’s just ... disheartening. Kyle Shanahan got outstanding production from the offense, but the Falcons had success in the red zone before he took over. In fact, over seven seasons, under the direction of three separate offensive coordinators, the offense knew how to produce in the red zone. Then Steve Sarkisian happened.
We’re not in the locker room. We’re not in the meeting rooms. We’re making these judgments from the comfort of our mothers’ basements. But the buck stops with Sarkisian. Putting this at his feet isn’t unfair or inappropriate. The Falcons can’t score in the red zone because Sarkisian is the offensive coordinator. That doesn’t mean he can’t turn it around. In fact, I hope he does. But at this moment, on the eve of week two of the 2018 season, it’s all Sarkisian’s fault.