If social media had any say in whether Arthur Smith remains the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, he would have been left in Phoenix airport terminal on Sunday night.
The 25-23 loss to the Arizona Cardinals dropped the Falcons to 4-6 this season. Smith’s squad has fallen in six of the past eight games since starting the season 2-0. They are also currently on a four-game losing streak.
But social media, obviously, has no say in who will coach the Falcons for the rest of 2023. The Athletic’s Jeff Schultz wrote on Monday that the man who does have a say, owner Arthur Blank, will not be making a midseason coaching change.
“There has been no ‘Win now, or else’ mandate from Falcons owner Arthur Blank to coach Arthur Smith in recent days,” Schultz wrote. “There shouldn’t be. Smith is not going to get fired this week, or next week, or anytime soon.
“In fact, the only way Smith isn’t back as the team’s coach in 2024 is if there’s evidence players are tuning him out (hasn’t happened), or the team completely unravels (not there, yet), or Smith suddenly embraces the reality that he could climb the corporate ladder at Federal Express, really, really, really fast.”
It’s extremely difficult, though, to argue Smith’s coaching seat in Atlanta isn’t getting very toasty.
Through two and a half seasons, Smith has gone 18-26 as Falcons head coach. He led the team to a pair of 7-10 seasons to begin his tenure.
However, expectations were much lower for the team in 2021 and 2022. Major cap issues contributed to the defense having significant holes. The team also transitioned away from all-time great quarterback Matt Ryan in 2022.
But this season, Falcons fans expected the offense to take off thanks to a collection of top 10 talent at the skilled positions. Fans anticipated the defense improving as well.
The defense has been better in a lot of areas. But the offense hasn’t. Actually, it’s been one of the least efficient offenses in the NFL.
The Falcons are ranked 15th in yards yet 24th in points. Giveaways and poor red zone offense has contributed to that discrepancy.
Atlanta’s offense is also 21st in passing yards. Against the Cardinals, the Falcons amassed just 70 yards through the air.
A roster with Drake London, Kyle Pitts, Bijan Robinson, Cordarrelle Patterson and Tyler Allgeier should never struggle so mightily through the air. That’s regardless of who is behind center.
That’s why there are cries for Smith to lose his job. They will fall on deaf ears for now, but time is ticking for Smith and the Falcons offense.