The 2014 Falcons season is a bad sequel to the 2013 season. Marred with injuries and losses thus far, I don’t know that the ending of this turns out much different. The Falcons fourth consecutive loss has a team headed in the complete opposite direction of where you want them to be going. Since scoring 56 points in their Week 3 Thursday night beat down of the Buccaneers, what was the best offense in the NFL through three weeks has scored 28, 20, 13 and seven points. See a trend here? The one thing that was supposed to be carrying this team is the offense. They have sputtered into mediocrity.
What’s the most alarming thing is that there is no solution for this team in 2014. The narrative has changed from “Can this team return to form in 2014?” to “How could the organization miss the mark so horribly this past off-season in their attempt to fix the problems from last season?” They missed the mark at an impact running back. They missed the mark on defensive run stoppers. They added nothing at linebacker. The coaching staff hasn’t developed young talent. And players haven’t stepped up to fill in for the rash of injuries that seems to have overtaken this team again this year.
There is plenty of blame to go around for what’s gone wrong. What there aren’t enough of are solutions. I’m not advocating that anyone needs to go. But I am saying that Thomas Dimitroff, Mike Smith and company better do something quick. Make a trade. Start young, rookie players. Shake things up. Make yourself a competitive football team. It’s not about wins and losses at this point. There will be more losses. It’s about how you lose. Keep yourself in games. Protect your quarterback. Establish the run. Those things aren’t going to happen all in one game, but they should be happening. Make your opponents take you seriously.
Prove that you are capable building for the future. Almost every losing NFL team is only two or three players away. It doesn’t feel that way right now for Atlanta. They feel a lot farther away than that. And change is definitively coming. In 2017, that new stadium opens, and Arthur Blank does not want it opening to a 4-12 football team. I don’t care how nice that building is, people won’t come to support a loser.
The Falcons are not a playoff team in 2014. Despite the fact that the NFC South is still very winnable, this team doesn’t have what it takes. And that’s not a front office problem or it’s not a coaching problem, it’s an organizational issue that starts with the players on the field and ends with the guy who signs their paycheck.