The Falcons are still winless on the road, Matt Ryan has thrown nine picks in the last four games, and for the first time in the Mike Smith coaching era, they have lost four straight. Atlanta also currently ranks 22nd in the league in terms of average points per game with 21.4, and rank 31st in average rushing yards.
So with that in mind, would it be safe to say that coach Smith will be jobless in 2014? Well, Falcons Owner Arthur Blank says no, and is still confident in Smith and his remaining coaching staff. On Sunday, Blank was interviewed shortly after the Falcons’ loss. Despite an embarrassing 2-8 record, Blank voiced his support for the coach Smith.
In a way, Blank’s trust in coach Smith can be justified. Since taking over in 2008, Smith has led the Falcons to five winning seasons, two division championships and one playoff victory. Smith’s 56 wins is also the most wins for an NFC coach.
Blank does make a point that injuries have put the Falcons in a tough predicament. But, he also said that this is a business. In any business, you must perform at a high level consistently. Smith still has not taken Ryan and the Falcons to the big show. Smith’s puzzling coaching decisions this year are also another reason to give this organization and the Falcons’ fan base pause.
Yes, there is room for a little struggle for any head coach in the NFL, but after a season like this, Smith is on thin ice regardless of Blank’s statements. With only one Super Bowl appearance so far in this team’s history, you better believe the expectations are high, especially when you finally have the franchise quarterback to take you there again.
Sure, you can record consecutive winning seasons, but in reality, one playoff victory is not going to cut it.