|It was painfully obvious in the Atlanta Falcons 17-6 loss to the Miami Dolphins that the first team offense is not ready for prime time. And that’s a shame. Up until last season the Falcons had one of the most powerful offenses in the league since 2008, the arrival of Matt Ryan.
It has been hit or miss since last season and everyone – the three of you that read this know why I think that is. Correct. Kyle Shanihan has basically taken a well-oiled and has tinkered with it to the point of collapse. People will defend the younger Shanihan (whose dad won two Super Bowls a couple of decades ago) as being an offensive genius or for working magic with quarterbacks. But to be a offensive assistant for a long as he has (maybe ten years or so), he sure has changed jobs a lot – even more than Brett Favre in the twilight of his career. He often worked for daddy who if you look at his coaching record post Elway ( team he inherited from Dan Reeves) it’s been inconsistent at best with more .500 or below .500 finishes than playoff games won.
Talk now if if the Falcons should start rebuilding. What? If you know anything about the history of the Falcons, and as much as it hurts me to say this, they were never winners. I remember being happy back in the old, old days if the Falcons finished 7-7. Falcons have seen a lot of good talent come through with some making a lasting impact while others you scratch your head about.
The Falcons have been spoiled since the turn of the century. Prior to Ryan and coach Mike Smith’s arrival in town the Falcons never had back-to-back winning seasons. Yes, even in the day of “Leeman’s Demons” and the Bartkowski “Hail Mary” they only managed a winning season every other year. It was as if the franchise was snake bit when it came to on field success. The current generation of Falcon fans have been spoiled as the team went not one, not two but five consecutive years with a winning record and four playoff berths.
It’s the age old dilemma when there is a coaching change when the team has an established quarterback. Too many times new coordinators instead of trying to work what they have they try to change it. Ryan has been an elite or near elite quarterback since he came into the league. Only one quarterback won more games than him between 2008-12, and his name is Tom Brady.
But regardless we will forced to see how this plays out.
Ryan had another uneven outing this preseason as he was 12-of-22 for 129 yards and another costly interception which is what we saw the second half of last season. Ryan directed one scoring drive that ended with a 39-yard Shayne Graham field goal. Another promising drive ended when Ryan was picked off in the end zone. Still the game was close at 7-3 at the half.
Miami jumped out to a 14-3 lead early on Damien Williams’ two-yard run. Matt Schaub looked sharp again for the Falcons as he cemented his place as second string behind Ryan. He was 10-of-11 for 109 yards, however he was only able to muster a field goal as well as the anemic Atlanta offense showed no life.
Ryan Tannenhill was an efficient 20-of29 running the Dolphins offense and saw little pressure from the Atlanta front four. I’m still waiting to see something from Dan Quinn’s defensive genius as all I’ve seen since he became head coach last season is the rapid deterioration of the once powered Falcon offense.
The Falcons conclude preseason Thursday night as they host the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Georgia Dome.
– Dave Weinthal
Enigma's mobile Concert Calendar!