Hype train, Trainwrecks, and Hot Takes

Because I fancy myself as a writer (with absolutely no credentials whatsoever), I'm going over week 1 with a new series. I will outline someone/something as a hype train, then give a trainwreck (in our case this week, the exact same people), and a hot take to spark a few comments - and dissent is welcome.

So let us begin with the DEFENSE

Hype train: The pass rush with just 4 guys, Grady as a DE, and either Carter or AK47 on the edge was DEADLY. Four sacks in the first half, combined with a fantastic secondary, make for a destructive defense. In short, we had Winston praying for a miracle. Unfortunately, God heard him, and smote us with:

Trainwreck: Dean Pees changed his defense from aggressive to passive, playing safeties far too high to defend against the intermediate out routs, digs, and - well, those were the main issues I saw yesterday - and we watched in horror as a team too scared to run the ball air it out at will for an entire a quarter. This is reason #2 why we lost this game.

Hot take: This is the best we will see the Falcons on defense this year. Now pass the bourbon.


Hype Train: This offense runs through Mariota, whose legs gave the entire team new life and energy. His mobility forced the Saints to play a little more cautious, allowed London to run digs and drags, and likely opened up lanes for C-Patt.

Trainwreck: Oh boy did Mariota screw the pooch. Two fumbles, one lost in the red zone, and the other when he needed to just gain a yard to ice the game - that just bites. Throw in some awful deep throws, and you have a recipe for future disaster. Other teams will hone in on this weakness, and Ridder seems like a Mariota clone. That's... not good. If Mariota holds the ball like a real NFL QB, Falcons win. Simple as that.

Hot take: I sort of mentioned this, but Mariota also reached his high point, and all weaknesses laid bare. The NFL already knows how to beat him, and the lack of a deep ball will absolutely destroy the hope for a fun 2022 season. Pitts will suffer, so trade him from your fantasy team ASAP.

There isn't much to say about the special teams, other than they did well. So I'll move on to the coaching.

Hype train: the depth is okay, the o-line played correctly (not well, as they were schemed well, playing away from weakness... for 3 quarters), and the WR room is - passable. I guess that's a hype train after the 2021 fiasco of a season. Man, having Ridley, London, AND Pitts?

Trainwreck: that's the second worst 4th quarter plan I have ever seen. We got ambushed, bamboozeled, shellacked, and kicked in the teeth, and answered by laying down and dying on the field. We punted twice in Saints territory. We refused to go for it when C-Patt was seemingly unstoppable. Mariota was rushing at a great clip. The lose of Damien Williams wouldn't have hurt - if our coaching staff wasn't afraid of rookies.

Hot take: the attempt to create a "culture" meant putting rookies on the bench to this staff. That's reason #4 for the loss (#3 being the cowardly 4th down calls). Losing to the Saints, at home, is the worst thing you can do for a team culture on opening day IN YOUR OWN STADIUM. Tyler Allgeier would have been a fantastic bruiser compliment to C-Patt. Instead, he was on the sideline. I know, hindsight is 20/20... until you remember both Damien Williams AND Scordarelle have injury histories. Playing with only 3RBs isn't that dumb, until you remember you spent a 2022 pick on another RB with great numbers, great heart, and a penchant for being a bruiser. Winning IS the establishment of culture. Leaving talent on the sidelines to "earn his keep" is harmful to winning, and therefor culture.

Conclusion: Mariota holding onto the ball wins the game. It's as simple as that. Pees running a smarter defense in the 4th quarter also likely wins the game. And Arthur Smith removing his head from his rectum on player personnel AND play-calling would have likely resulted in victory. With three of the top 3 leaders on the field directly responsible for the team and this loss, my faith is unusually shaken. I wasn't expecting us to be this good. I also wasn't expecting us to choke it away with a 15 point lead.

Hot take: this loss will eventually result in the loss of another coaching staff (I know, that's why I have it as a hot take). AS's coward-ness, Pees' stupidity, and Mariota looking moronic in the final quarter spells doom for a franchise stricken by 28-3. We weren't expecting much, but when you're up 17 in the 4th, put the game away. Expelling demons matters to this organization, and this game brought all ghosts, goblins, and the Devil himself back to this team. This won't leave, all season. And I fear the team will not bounce back when victory was within our grasp.

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>