Smith should have know his line sucks.
I'm sure he did. But like he did in 2011 and 2012, he just counted on the other 6 players on offense to carry the team. We can debate whether that was a sound plan or not, but since it worked to great effect last year, I can't exactly crucify him for thinking it would work again. I figured there would be drop off from Ryan and the WRs from last year, although I didn't think we'd go from #1 to #25. Maybe like #1 to #12.
Since you like Stats we haven't been talking much about Atlanta's terrible defense against the run......... HOW DOES A COACH WIN WHEN HIS DEFENSE AVERAGES GIVING UP 154 YARDS A GAME ON THE RUN OVER THE LAST TWO MONTHS??
Simple, the same way we "stopped" teams last year with a bad run defense: by scoring early and forcing teams to stop running and throw to catch up.
I say simple, rather than easy because it's not easy. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. If you are up 10-0 in the first quarter, or 17-7 in the second, your opponent is going to be less likely to run the ball as the game progresses. That's how we stopped teams last year.
This is why I've spent the past 7 weeks harping on throwing the ball downfield, generating big plays, and being aggressive early in games. Because the only way this offense is going to be able to score early and often is by doing those things. That's the direct responsibility of Dirk Koetter, but until I receive word that Mike Smith has little to no involvement in the devising of offensive game plans, I'm going to assume he's equally to blame. And again through deductive reason, if Smitty was telling Koetter to call that kind of game, and Koetter wasn't, then we'd probably know about it. So logic suggests that Smitty isn't telling Koetter squadoosh.
Now if you throw early and build an early lead, you expose the defense to get gashed via the pass. And with our pass rush that's not a great recipe for success. But you know how we stopped that in past years? Because the offense scored points late and finished games.
If you are taking deep shots, and Ryan is making bad throws and throwing picks left and right, that's one thing. That's trying and then failing. I can forgive you for that. But I cannot forgive you for not trying at all.
Why did I make a big deal about the Buffalo game? Because they actually did what I'm talking about and took shots down the field. And they benefited from it with the best offensive performance of the season. Why couldn't they do that every other game this year? Why didn't they even try?
And we keep butting heads on this because you seem to believe there are "circumstances" that prevented this team from doing these things. And I say BS. If the OL isn't good enough, then get new blockers. If the WRs weren't good enough, then get new WRs. If the QB isn't good enough, then why did you just give him $104 million? If you don't have cap room, why don't you make it by cutting some players or renegotiating some deals? Fate/circumstance didn't conspire against this team or Mike Smith. It's ALL self-inflicted issues.
TD may handle the personnel, but Mike Smith is ultimately responsible for whether this team wins or loses on Sunday. And if Mike Smith doesn't have the wherewithal to get up off his ass and do something about it, then why does he deserve his job? I can hire any bum off the street to be a clueless head coach.
It's not all on Smith, it's an organizational issue. They don't ever work out new players unless there's an injury. They don't ever pounce on waiver wire players. They are content to overpay 40% of their starters with underachievers.
And it's been a few months I'm sure since I used it, but it's that c word: COMPLACENCY. And Mike Smith is just as culpable if not more so than anybody else in that complacency, because he's
the head coach.