Not that anyone didn't already know this, but ESPN is talking it up again in an article about not punting... although in the case of the Falcons, that's not such a good idea.
By Gregg Easterbrook | ESPN Playbook
Atlanta: Falcons coach Mike Smith is 43-21 in the regular season, 0-3 in the playoffs. The Falcons' postseason defeats to conclude 2010 and 2011 were ugly, mangy outings, Atlanta being bounced by a combined 72-24.
Though TMQ believes football coaches should go for it more often on fourth down, that does not, of course, mean the tactic will work. Fourth down was Atlanta's bête noire in 2011; the Falcons an awful 4-for-16, including 0-for-3 in their playoff defeat at Jersey/A. Failure on fourth-and-inches at the Giants' 21 in the third quarter was the game's pivotal down. From film study, the Giants knew that no matter how much misdirection Atlanta showed, a fourth-down try would always end in a Matt Ryan sneak. That's what happened on the fourth-and-inches at the Giants' 21, and Ryan was stuffed.
Against Jersey/A in the 2011 playoffs, Smith was decisively outcoached. He was decisively outcoached the year before in the postseason by Green Bay. If Atlanta makes the playoffs this year, perhaps Smith should recuse himself.