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Mike Garafolo: ‘I believe Arthur Smith is on the shakiest of grounds’ in the NFC South

Smith went from safe to on the hot seat in just a few weeks.

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Falcons fans have been keeping a close eye on rumors and reports leaking out about Arthur Smith’s future in Atlanta. A few weeks back, Arthur Blank publicly said that while he supports Arthur Smith, his future with the Falcons would be reviewed at the end of the season. The timing for Blank’s refusal to commit to Smith in 2024 was interesting, as it was two days after Atlanta’s embarrassing loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Since then, the Falcons had a good win at home against the Indianapolis Colts... then an absurdly bad loss on the road to the Chicago Bears. In short, Smith doesn’t look to be finishing the season strong.

While there have been rumors about Smith’s future, none have come from reliable sources since Blank’s public statements. That changed today, as Mike Garafolo from NFL dot com reported that Smith’s future in Atlanta is shaky.

While there is plenty of interesting tidbits in the short clip that aired on January 3rd, Garafolo believes Smith has the hottest seat of the NFC South. In short, it sounds like Smith could be out if he can’t beat the Saints on Sunday: “If [the Falcons] don’t play well against the New Orleans Saints, it does feel like it could be time...”

Garafolo also pins Smith as the scapegoat for the team riding with Ridder in 2023. In that context, it should be noted that Ridder was drafted by Terry Fontenot then announced as the team starter by Arthur Blank early in the offseason.

Regardless, Blank made it known that Smith likely needed a strong finish in 2023 to make it to 2024. Getting blown out by the Bears isn’t the strong finish Blank was looking for. If Smith can’t beat the Saints, Blank may find it impossible to sell another season with Smith to Falcons fans.