I would disagree with your first point. No one bats 1.000 but I think the Falcons "get up" for the overwhelming majority of every game. It's rare when the Falcons "malaise" their way through a game.
Now if you're saying that the Falcons "play down" to the level of competition at times. I don't necessarily disagree with that, but then again we saw the greatest team that ever stepped onto a football team (Denver) "play down" to the worst team that ever crawled out of a swamp (J-ville) on Sunday.
Not to mention, I think the perception that the Falcons "play down" is because of the false perception that the Falcons are a better team than they actually are. I know the record tells one side of the story, but I think the fact that the Falcons don't dominate teams like Arizona, Oakland, Carolina last year or get outplayed by the Jets isn't because Smitty isn't "coaching them up" it's because the team just isn't that good to begin with.
And I think for that reason is why the Falcons don't "finish" games. Again, people seem to forget that last year the Falcons had a terrible runnign game and no pass rush. If you can't run to win, and you can't get pressure on the QB when you're ahead and your opponent is throwing to get back into the game, then what are you really doing to "finish" them off? Nothing really. The same could be said about this year's team, although we've run it a little better. But outside the Miami game, you can't say we've ran the ball well. And the pass rush is the same (i.e. s***ty), and what's made it worse is that our coverage isn't nearly as strong as it was last year.
To me a team that is inconsistent from game to game were the Mora-Vick-Era Falcons. SMitty is much like Cowher, who I thought consistently had the Steelers competing at the same level week in and week out throughout his tenure there. I can't really say the same for the Tomlin Steelers.
What I am saying is that the Falcons not only play down to their competition but also never seem to come out and play better than they should, they either play right on par for what you expect or they play worse. There is never a moment when the Falcons play a game and you are surprised by just how good they are playing, unless of course they are playing one of the bottom dwellers in the league.
I understand that they had/have a sh*tty run game and pass rush so how about finishing games the same way you got the lead score more points. Don’t go into conservative mode trying to babysit your lead try to keep building on it.