ATLANTA — Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said he didn’t feel any added pressure to win now after owner Arthur Blank kept his promise and rewarded WR Julio Jones, DT Grady Jarrett and LB Deion Jones with contract extensions.
Surely Quinn feels the heat now.
The Falcons’ offense — featuring Jones, QB Matt Ryan, RB Devonta Freeman and TE Austin Hooper — hasn’t exactly been explosive with Dirk Koetter as offensive coordinator. In fact, the Falcons had minus-10 yards on two fourth-and-1 plays against the Titans.
But much of the blame will fall on Quinn, who took over as the defensive coordinator this season yet has watched the unit regress miserably. Whether it be zone or man, 3-4 or 4-3, the Falcons have given up too many big plays while not creating turnovers or generating enough pressure. There have been fundamental mistakes with tackling and technique, which is on the players. But when guys are standing back and giving up room for the Titans to convert on third-and-long situations, scheme and coaching come under scrutiny.
Quinn no doubt is too prideful to relinquish the defensive playcalling. It would be like admitting defeat, and Quinn is the ultimate optimist even when a situation looks dire.
Whatever happens here moving forward, Quinn has to know the pressure is mounting and his job is on the line more than ever. Blank didn’t dish out all that money to see his team look mediocre. And Blank certainly never expects to see his team get completely whipped at home by anyone — particularly an average Titans team.
It’s no wonder a chorus of boos broke out at Mercedes-Benz Stadium at different junctures during Sunday’s game. The booing might continue with the Seahawks, Rams and Saints still coming to visit.
Two words to describe the game: Very ugly. That’s the only way to describe this loss from the Falcons’ perspective. They made struggling Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota look all-world.
QB breakdown: Ryan continues to put up big numbers (397 passing yards), but that doesn’t matter if you’re not scoring. Ryan had a first-quarter fumble within Titans territory. Maybe the trajectory of the game changes if the Falcons score there and tie the score at 14. Instead, the play seem symbolic of everything that has gone wrong through the first four games.
On the line: The Falcons again suffered an injury along the offensive line, with starting right guard Jamon Brown leaving with a concussion. Center Alex Mack exited briefly with a left elbow injury but returned. Remember, the Falcons are playing without rookie first-rounder Chris Lindstrom, who suffered a broken right foot. The Falcons can’t deal with much more attrition on the line.