Since 2008 with the arrival of coach Mike Smith, GM Thomas Dimitroff and quarterback Matt Ryan, the Atlanta Falcons finally became a consistent team. But how is success measured in the NFL? Wins or rings? Sure they have won more games in this time span with this regime than any other in the history of the team. Sure they broke the back-to-back winning season streak that plagued the team since its inception.
But after having two No. 1 seeds in three seasons and heartbreaking exits in the playoffs, perhaps this is as far as Mike Smith can take the team. You can never predict how a team will play or which injuries will hit the team, but after a 1-3 start, a dangerous pattern has started to reveal itself. One pattern exists that goes back several seasons. The Falcons are a strong first half team that takes leads into the second half but they can’t finish. They also have problems when entering the red zone where touchdowns are needed instead of field goals.
You have to wonder why this happens with such frequency. Do the Falcons fail to make halftime adjustments or do they just lose their edge and allow teams to come back? Most football teams at all levels take on the personality of the coach, and perhaps this is a reflection of coach Smith. He is a good coach that has brought the Falcons to new heights, but perhaps this is the highest the Falcons can go and maybe coach Smith knows this. Is it time for a change? Only owner Arthur Blank can be sure because he, more than anyone, wants a winner for the city and the state that is very much deserved.
Jon Baggett is an Atlanta Falcons writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonBaggett1, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.