This brand of Atlanta Falcons football can only be described in one word: uninspired. With a 0-5 start, this Falcons team has played with no focus or determination, and it has only gotten worse as the season has progressed.
As a result, owner Arthur Blank finally made the move to fire general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn. Now, coach Raheem Morris takes over as interim head coach. Coach Morris has experience at the position and could actually spark this team to a few wins, and he gets his first game at the helm against the Minnesota Vikings.
A struggling team in their own right, the Vikings come in at 1-4 on the season. Which Falcons will need to step up to finally get the team into the win column for the 2020 season?
Saying that Foye Oluokon has been, by far, the best linebacker on the Falcons defense, is quite disheartening. While it’s certainly great to see Oluokon settling into the role, he shouldn’t be the one carrying the LB corps.
Deion Jones has had a very disappointing season so far, and he’s considered a leader on the defense. Poor, undisciplined tackling along with lethargic play has plagued his season so far. This team can’t function as it should when a guy as talented as Jones isn’t pulling his weight.
As a leader of this team, Coach Morris needs to push him and every other leader on this team to play the way that they’re capable of playing. Deion needs to step up and be the leader he’s expected to be if this unit is to improve in any way.
Dante Fowler, Jr.
This unit is certainly underperforming at a major level, and the Falcons’ main free agent acquisition in 2020 is one of the players who’s contributing to that. Although Fowler truly hasn’t been 100% since Week 1, he’s been paid to be an impact player on the EDGE and he has yet to make the impact expected with only 1 sack the first 5 games of the season. With Takk McKinley ruled out today, Fowler really needs to make his presence known for this defense to even be competitive against this Vikings offense.
Although Julio Jones is expected to play, it’s unclear as to how many snaps he will get and the impact he will have offensively. That being said, the Falcons need to have another receiving threat on the offense that challenges the middle of the field.
Hayden Hurst, who was brought in to replace Austin Hooper, hasn’t been as effective as he could be. Now, some of that can absolutely be attributed to play calling and route concepts. However, Hurst will need to have a better impact going forward.
It can also be argued that Hurst simply hasn’t built the rapport with Matt Ryan where Ryan is comfortable going to him in key situations. At any rate, Hurst being able to threaten and be productive in the middle of the field bodes well for the offense in this game.
The Atlanta Falcons’ play up to this point has been grossly subpar and there doesn’t seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel. Many fans are in the tank mindset again to get a top round draft pick, and they really can’t be blamed for that thinking.
However, with the talent that’s currently on this team, if Coach Morris can spark them into playing with some passion, it’s possible they can pull off more wins than expected. Will it start with the Minnesota Vikings? It’s possible, but I assure you that no one is holding their breath.