With a demanding owner sniffing over every move, decision and step sideways, coach Mike Smith must try to rally his team and drag it back to respectability.
The Falcons have a bye this week before playing at Tampa Bay, when the chore starts full time.
Before this season, the Falcons insisted that last season’s descent from the NFC Championship Game in 2012 to 4-12 in 2013 was an aberration.
But halfway through the 2014 season, they have more serious depth issues. The line has been ravaged by injuries again. While the depth is better than last season, it’s not good enough to protect quarterback Matt Ryan or consistently open up holes in the running game.
Despite a five-game losing streak dropping the Falcons to 2-6, Smith said he has no concerns about his job security.
“None whatsoever,” Smith said Monday. “We are going to do what we’ve done the last six-plus years and prepare each and every week like we know how to do it, and I’m going to continue to do that until Mr. (Arthur) Blank tells me otherwise.”
Blank, the team owner, expressed disgust with the Falcons’ 22-21 loss to the Lions on Sunday. The Falcons led 21-0 at halftime and 21-19 in the final two minutes.
“You’re up 21-0,” Blank told The Atlanta-Journal Constitution. “There’s no way you lose that game — just no way. There’s nothing else I can say.”