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Falcons roundtable: What will Black Monday hold for Atlanta?

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What’s coming on Black Monday?

NFL: DEC 22 Jaguars at Falcons Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The season ends with a win, and Thomas Dimitroff falls on the sword

The Falcons second half ascendance continued against the Jaguars, and those winning ways will continue against the Buccaneers on Sunday. Atlanta dropped an ugly game at home against Tampa Bay in Week 12, so they’ll be looking to pay the Bucs back in kind. With the way both the defense and offense have been operating of late, I’m predicting a pretty solid win on the road.

As for Black Monday, I feel that Dan Quinn has inspired enough confidence of Arthur Blank that he hangs around for at least one more year, but there’s going to be a major change at the top. With his bungling of the Matt Bryant ordeal and the free agent spending splurge on an offensive line that’s been abjectly awful, I believe that Thomas Dimitroff will be relieved of his duties once the season closes. - Carter Breazeale

The Falcons save DQ’s Job

Since the Bye Week, the Falcons are 5-2 and have scored 20+ points in 6 out of 7 games. The Falcons defense which allowed a total of 250 points to be scored in the first 8 games, have allowed only 127 points to be scored in the last 7 games.

The players in specific have openly been playing for Dan Quinn’s job, and with a win on Sunday, they likely will save it. I like Dan Quinn and don’t believe in firing head coaches for back-to-back 7-9 seasons. If he sticks, DQ will be on an extremely hot seat next season, with anything less than a playoff berth being a failure. Regardless of what happens with DQ, Thomas Dimitroff needs to be gone this offseason. – Evan Birchfield

Change on the wind

I truly don’t know which way Arthur Blank is going to go, but if he’s truly undecided on what he’s going to do, nothing short of a superlative effort against the Bucs should move the needle for him. I think the Falcons may well win but their overall effort against the Jaguars—and Jameis Winston’s habit of playing extremely well against Atlanta—suggests it likely won’t be pretty.

At the end of the day, I have to go with history here. Arthur Blank has never endured back-to-back losing seasons without moving on from a coach before—he didn’t even give Dan Reeves or Jim Mora Jr. that—and he was clearly invested in this team contending in a way they couldn’t manage. He’s given Quinn five seasons and Dimitroff has been at the helm for over a decade and this team is heading into a crucial offseason quite cap-strapped and with some important free agents set to hit the market, potentially diminishing the talent level of a team that has underachieved in back-to-back seasons.

Unless Blank is 100% convinced Quinn and Dimitroff can and will solve this thing in 2020, I don’t think he can keep the status quo. Just a guess, but I don’t believe he is 100% convinced. - Dave Choate

Arthur Blank gets the itch and cleans house

While I think the most likely scenario is Dan Quinn getting one more year, I think there is a big part of Blank that is ready to move on. Too many teams see a turnaround with a new coach, and if no turnaround, at least a chance for fans to be excited. Look no further than Sunday’s matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Still bad? Yes. But better? Yes. After seeing so many teams go with an offensive coordinator to both establish their quarterback and find new ways to attack defenses, Blank is ready. However, I’m guessing that top coaches like Lincoln Riley will prefer to start over with their own personnel, meaning the best option would be a veteran offensive coach with head coaching experience. Extra points if that coach runs an offense fits the personnel and is similar to Kyle Shanahan’s. Welcome your fun, new, exciting head coach Mike McCarthy! (Maybe keeping Quinn wouldn’t be so bad compared to the alternatives.) - Matt Chambers