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Things have gone from bad to worse since that historic collapse with Sunday’s ugly 52-33 loss to the Houston Texans securing a 1-4 start of what’s shaping up to be a second straight season missing the playoffs.
Deshaun Watson had a field day against a porous Falcons defense, racking up 426 passing yards, 46 rushing yards and five touchdowns through the air.
Arthur Blank in Dan Quinn’s corner
The disappointing start to the season is raising calls for head coach Dan Quinn’s job. Team owner Arthur Blank appeared to fend off those rumblings after Sunday’s loss with a vote of confidence for his fifth-year head coach.
“No,” Blank told reporters when asked if a coaching change is needed. “This staff has performed before. My hope is they can fix what needs to be fixed and start winning some games.”
Quinn’s speciality not showing up on scoreboard
Quinn was hired because of the defensive bonafides he built in coaching the Legion of Boom as the Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator. There has been very little boom in Atlanta since Quinn arrived with a unit that ranked 25th in scoring defense last season and 22nd this season prior to Sunday’s 52-point Texans outing.
Texans receiver Keke Coutee outright disrespected the Atlanta defense after Sunday’s game.
“We knew they were a pretty basic defense that wasn’t going to do too much,” Coutee said. “They were going to keep running the same thing over and over. Once we kind of found out their kinks they had, we just started capitalizing on our opportunities.”
Blank appears hesitant to pull the trigger on parting with a coach who led his team to an NFC championship just three seasons ago. But if things don’t improve drastically and in short order, that patience may soon wear thin.
Falcons not the same since Shanahan left
Quinn’s staff has indeed performed before, as evidenced by that appearance in Super Bowl LI in 2017. But one key member of that group has been missing since losing to the Patriots in the Super Bowl — offensive coordinator and now San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.
The Falcons offense that still features former NFL MVP Matt Ryan at quarterback and one of the best talents in the game in wide receiver Julio Jones has looked little like the unit that led the league in scoring that Super Bowl season. Atlanta finished 15th and 10th in the NFL in scoring in the first two seasons since Shanahan left in 2017 and sputtered to the league’s 26th ranked scoring unit through the first four weeks of this season.
The Falcons offense got on track Sunday, but didn’t stand a chance of keeping up with Houston.
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