The vibes are certainly different going into a fascinating Week 4 matchup against Jacksonville. Although it should be considered a legitimate success for the Falcons to be 2-1, fans can’t lose sight of what transpired last week against the Lions. Arthur Smith’s team looked outmatched, out-coached, and outworked. That’s got to be concerning for a team that built their identity on punishing teams for four quarters and being resilient.
A one-sided defeat against a playoff-caliber opponent is bound to bring optimism down. From how the offensive line crumbled to the offensive coaching staff not offering many strategic adjustments, the loss in Detroit felt deflating in what was considered an even matchup going into the game. There was a sizable decrease in the fans’ confidence meter of the team’s current status. Only half of the fanbase has a strong belief in where the team is headed at the moment.
The biggest conundrum for the Falcons’ is their offensive approach. After going run-heavy on opening day, they have clearly made it a point of emphasis to put the ball more in Desmond Ridder’s hands. Putting him in positions where he needs to make the right reads and throw accurate passes is crucial in his development. As the coaching staff has moved forward with this approach, it has put the team in unfavorable situations and near-costly mistakes. Per Pro Football Focus, Ridder leads the league in turnover-worthy plays for quarterbacks. Despite his issues, fans are still committed to seeing balance within the Falcons’ offense. They have too much talent at the skill positions to become heavily reliant on the run like they were last season.
Coming into the season with high expectations, it’s safe to say the offense has rarely found a rhythm and has fallen below standards. There are disappointing aspects to what should be one of the more dynamic units in the league. For all of Ridder’s inaccurate throws and near-game-changing errors, his overall play isn’t the most discouraging element to an underachieving offense. As my colleague Cory Woodroof said best, Ridder is a work in progress, and it shouldn’t be considered a bad thing. Neither is the frustratingly inconsistent production from Drake London and Kyle Pitts. Over half of the fanbase believes the offensive line’s underwhelming play is the biggest disappointment about the offense after three weeks. Considering the high standards they set last season, it’s completely understandable.
Do you remain optimistic about the Falcons after last week’s setback?
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