5 Reasons Why the Atlanta Falcons’ Season Is Over
5 Reasons Why Atlanta Falcons' Season Is Over
The Atlanta Falcons' season has been awash in in a menagerie of misfortune, and the fans are aghast and appalled by their 1-4 record. The funny part, not "funny ha-ha" but funny as in painful irony, is that this team was a shoo-in to represent the NFC in the upcoming Super Bowl back in August.
Unfortunately, no regular season games are played in August. They've got arguably the greatest tight end of all time in Tony Gonzalez, they have WR Julio Jones on one side and WR Roddy White on the other side and they've got Matt Ryan slinging the rock all over the yard like an 80s baby. There is no reason this team shouldn't be undefeated.
Well, other than a bad defense, a coach who seems to have suddenly forgotten how to coach and an ever-growing list of injured Pro Bowlers, that is. After losing yet another game in which they were favored to put in work, the media is in a frenzy and folks are looking for answers. Though I don't like pointing fingers, people tend to like for me to do so.
So, y'all tucked in? Heeeere we go! This slideshow is a compilation of the five reasons why I believe the Atlanta Falcons' season is essentially over. Everything else is pretty much a formality.
Ricardo Hazell is a freelance writer for RantSports based out of New York. You can follow him on Twitter at NikosMightyDad or add him to your network on Google Plus.
5. No Pass Rush
I thought I saw New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the pocket on Monday night. Well, maybe I'm overstating it just a bit, but it certainly looked like he could. He had enough time to. The Atlanta Falcons' defense only have 11 sacks so far this season, which ranks them 24th in the league. Defensive end Osi Umenyiora is the lone bright spot with four sacks of his own.
Players on the Falcons' injured list are more numerous than the roster changes of the boy band Menudo. WR Julio Jones, RB Jason Snelling, CB Asante Samuel, RB Steven Jackson, LB Kroy Bierman, LB Sam Weatherspoon are all out -- and those are just names the casual fan might recognize.
3. Remaining Schedule
Now that the Falcons are in such a deep hole, things are only going to get exponentially worse. They would need to win at least eight of their next 10 games to even have a chance play in the postseason. They play a red-hot New Orleans Saints team twice, they have a game late in the season against a steadily improving Green Bay Packers squad, and are destined to lose at least one of their two inter-divisional games against the Carolina Panthers as well. I only see two guaranteed wins, and both of them are versus the spiraling Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
2. Red Zone Scoring
With all of the highly-skilled, well-compensated offensive threats the Atlanta Falcons have, it is dumbfounding that they have only been able to punch the ball in with their red zone offense merely 48 percent of the time this season. The team dominates between the 20s, racing downfield to the delirium of their fans, but can't seem to get out of their own way the closer they get to the goal line.
1. Coach Mike Smith
Sorry Mike Smith, but the buck stops with you. If the Falcons were 4-1, the coach would be hailed as one the best in the NFL. Conversely, he has to be held responsible for the dramatic downfall of a team that has changed little personnel-wise from the 13-3 playoff team last season. In fact, this team was supposed to be even better.