Whenever the Falcons lose to the Saints, it’s disappointing. When they lose by failing to score a single touchdown and by letting a first-time starting quarterback prance merrily amongst them, it is absolutely even more disappointing.
So what did we take away from this game? Nothing good, but here are our staff’s reactions.
Thoughts of keeping any coaches was dispelled
Honestly, the reports that came out about the Falcons considering keeping Raheem Morris felt incredibly premature. Yes, the team had gone 3-1 under him but many issues persisted in those games against weaker opponents. The Saints game was the first real “test” under the Morris regime and it was ... no better than what we’d seen under Dan Quinn. While it’s possible it was a bump in the road, I don’t know how anyone can feel confident that Atlanta is going to suddenly look better against the Raiders, Saints, Chargers, Chiefs or Bucs going forward. If there’s one thing I’m grateful for this week, it’s that we pretty much know this entire coaching staff will be gone in 2021. - David Walker
The Falcons have learned nothing
What was most galling about Sunday, for me, was the fact that the Saints beat the Falcons in late 2019 by pressuring Matt Ryan so badly that he was forced to settle for a lot of short throws—he threw 50 passes in total—that didn’t translate to a whole lot of production. A lackluster ground game did not help, but that blueprint was so successful for New Orleans there was basically no question they were going to try it again, with the possible addition of some thoughtful tweaks to cover to try to make things even worse for Atlanta.
The Falcons came into the game with no plan. It was not just that they did not appear to have learned anything from last year, at least offensively, but that coming out of a bye well-rested and with extra time to prepare, they actually fared worse than they did a year ago. Pair that with a so-so defensive performance against Taysom Hill and you have a team that managed to go 3-1 in recent weeks without apparently learning a single useful thing about themselves or their opponents. It takes a lot for a team with this much talent to manage just 9 points in a game, and while it’s an indictment of everyone on offense from Matt Ryan to the offensive line—I still firmly believe this is primarily a disaster of the coaching staff’s making.
The offseason really can’t come quickly enough. -Dave Choate
The Falcons will always give us hope before destroying it again
Like clockwork, the Falcons will always give us hope. Even in the worst of seasons where the Falcons have absolutely lost games in the most cringe-inducing ways humanly possible, suddenly things will click and I start to tell myself that the team has turned a corner. There is no corner with this team. Instead, it is a circle where we constantly revolve between different phases of competency certain to return to what we saw on Sunday. I went in expecting to see the Falcons competitive. Maybe Raheem Morris really pulled off an unlikely turnaround. By the time Marshon Lattimore was ruled out and Taysom Hill was ruled in... the hope set in. It was a small glimmer of hope that has faded and diminished after the last few years of terrible football we have been forced to watch.
That is a long way of saying we learned nothing. The Falcons are still the same team they have been since Kyle Shanahan left. — Matt Chambers
Did we really learn anything?
I don’t know if I really learned anything about this team based on this outcome. We’ve seen this team play in this manner before. This season and seasons prior. I was not surprised that they looked unprepared. Was not surprised that they looked flat. Was not surprised that they looked unable to adjust accordingly as the game went on. I can’t say I learned anything. What this game did for me was confirm even more that the play calling is absolutely dreadful, the roster needs upgrades in several spots and that when this team gets punched in the mouth, they have no idea what to do next. - Eric Robinson