The Falcoholic and FOX 5 Atlanta have a question for you

We’re kicking off something fun here at The Falcoholic this week. I’ve got a
Falcons-related question for you Womens
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 , and I’ll share the best answers with the
entire greater Atlanta metro area on FOX 5 Atlanta on Thursday.Here’s the
question we’re going with for this week. It is certainly a pressing one. We’re
not looking for things like “let them take more veteran rest days” or “fire the
strength coach” or anything like that. This team is in dire injury straits, and
we believe our talented readers can solve it. Think outside the box, and hit me
with whatever you’ve got. Just don’t hit me too hard — I don’t want to land on
IR, also. There are certainly plenty of questions I could have asked you about
this team this week. What’s the deal with Vic Beasley? How on earth did the
Falcons miss 17 tackles against the Saints? What can we expect when they take on
the Bengals on Sunday?And to focus on the one bright spot in this dark,
injury-plagued season, did this offense time travel to 2018 from the 2016
season? Is Sark dealing with an Invasion of the Body Snatchers-type deal where
his offensive mindset has been replaced by Kyle Shanahan’s? Could Matt Ryan have
an MVP-caliber season again in a year when the defense has been absolutely
decimated by injuries, so it won’t even matter? How sad are we going to be if
that happens? But with so many key players on IR, it’s obvious that this is the
most pressing question for this week, so we need your solutions to the Falcons’
injury woes. Share your answers in the comments or tweet them to me, and I’ll
share the funniest, most creative ones on the air — as long as they won’t get us
in trouble with the FCC. Be sure to tune into FOX5 Atlanta on Thursday to see if
you’re one of the lucky readers we selected.Change Youth
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 , not platitudes, or the Falcons are headed
for a lost 2018 I’m not one to advocate for panic. Panic, especially four games
into a season, is generally counterproductive at best and foolish at worst. It
forces us into hot takes and causes us not to have patience, patience that has
often proven warranted for the Falcons under Dan Quinn. They were Super Bowl
team two years ago and an NFC Divisional Round team one year ago, after all. You
can’t seriously advocate for firing Dan Quinn.But you can panic about this team
now. You can panic because they have to go on the road and face the Steelers
next, and their defense has now surrendered an astonishing 80 points over the
last two weeks. They’ve been beaten on the ground, they’ve been beaten out of
the backfield, they’ve been beaten on shallow passes and they’ve been beaten
deep. They’ve missed tackles, shown poor communication, and made costly errors
of execution that include dumb penalties and dropped interception chances. The
Falcons could do more on offense Youth
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 , the refs made a bad call on Dalton’s
fumble-that-wasn’t today, and a thousand other small variables. Yet the defense
has been the obvious, primary reason Atlanta has lost their last two games, and
there’s a good chance they’ll be 1-4 before they even get a breather on a run of
quality offenses.In light of that, the Falcons need to make a hard choice. They
can either accept that their defense is a major liability, give the unit they
have an opportunity to grow and try to win in the meantime with stellar offense,
or they can make moves. They can take a hard look at the way they manage their
defense and handle the clock, which hurt them each of the last two weeks, and
they can scour free agency and trade opportunities for improvement. They could
swing for the fences and give up a lot for Earl Thomas on the understanding that
it will have significant long-term ramifications for their cap space, who they
keep, and what they’re able to pick up in the draft next year. But they need to
be realistic about what all of those options entail Youth
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 , and the fact that even if they don’t touch
their personnel, something has to change in the way this team rolls out its
personnel to give them a fighting chance. Coaching staffs and teams more
generally have trouble letting go of their slogans. Quinn has had a lot of
success here because he’s relentlessly positive, because he protects his players
from the outside world as much as possible, and because this team refuses to
admit they’re down and out. That has served this team well, but it can also
prove to be a blinding sort of light when you need to properly navigate the
darkness ahead. Atlanta has a lot of tough conversations ahead about the way
Quinn and company handled that last Bengals drive, holding on to their timeouts
until it was too late, and more broadly whether the men on the field can get the
job done if they’re given more time and more opportunities to succeed. I
recognize the impossible task facing these Falcons. No one wants to admit that
the primary reason this defense is so bad is that it’s minus Deion Jones, Keanu
Neal and Ricardo Allen, but that’s precisely why it is. Allen was the
quarterback of the defense, and the confusion in coverage that has been evident
since he went down is killing this defense. They were already bad minus their
tone-setting safety and game-changing middle linebacker, but there are some
holes you can’t fill Authentic Matt
Ryan Jersey
 , no matter how game Duke Riley has appeared over the
last couple of weeks and no matter how much urgency Damontae Kazee plays with.
They’re not going to be able to go out in free agency or the trade market and
simply replace those guys. They can’t, but the defense doesn’t need to be
ruinous, either. Yet it would be a mistake to fall back on talking about “a
tough ass group of men” and the “next man up” and variations of not listening to
the heated criticism going on outside of Flowery Branch, though at least in
public-facing forums I expect Quinn will do exactly that while acknowledging
this team has fallen short. The most important thing is that the Falcons realize
they are not yet mathematically dead, and that this blessed offense gives them
opportunities to win every week. Thebrutal truth is that they need to stop
squandering those, stop trying to to pretend things will be okay if they just
keep pushing forward, and find a way to salvage a season that started out with
such vibrant promise.If they don’t, we’ll spend a long time looking back at
2018’s rash of injuries and stubbornness and wonder what might have been.
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