Setting aside how damaging losing a division game at home might potentially be down the line, the Falcons’ issues are larger than one defeat.
1. Dumb (really dumb) penalties — There is simply no excuse for pre-snap penalties. None.
2. Red-zone failures — Yes the penalties hurt. Still the inability to punch in from close in remains a problem that was supposed to be better, if not fixed, by now. I am now concerned that this system does not fit the players to such an extent that it can ever work with the club as it’s built for the near term.
3. Offensive line woes — The personnel is flat not good enough. True the system could also be part of it, but the guard play was borderline awful.
4. Pass rush — There are signs it might be better than last season, but ‘better’ is only a relevant term. If this club is forced to blitz to get sacks, it will be a long season against the QBs it will face.
5. Quarterback — We are all watching. Blame him, blame the system… blame the line. Fact is, this is not working and time for a redirect might well be coming soon.
This was a bad look. Really bad. Yes, it’s only one game and there is no need to panic. But all the good vibes from a spirited camp have melted under the issues that need to be immediately repaired.