Dan Quinn's time as Falcons coach might be getting even shorter after listless loss to Packers

Frank Schwab
·4 mins read

On the bright side, the Atlanta Falcons didn’t blow a huge fourth-quarter lead this time.

The Falcons just got beat Monday night. They gave up a wide-open touchdown to Aaron Jones on the Green Bay Packers’ opening drive and it was clear then where the game was headed. Way too often the Packers had receivers running wide open in the Falcons’ secondary, and Aaron Rodgers won’t miss those opportunities.

The Falcons are 0-4 after the 30-16 loss to the Packers. Atlanta never led. They have been shredded by Russell Wilson and Rodgers in two games, and famously blew double-digit fourth-quarter leads in the two other games.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn has been on the hot seat for a long time. The Houston Texans made Bill O’Brien the first coach fired this season. It won’t be surprising if Quinn was the second.

Green Bay Packers' Robert Tonyan (85) goes in for a touchdown as he is tackled by Atlanta Falcons' Sharrod Neasman (41) and Foye Oluokun (54). (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Green Bay's Robert Tonyan (85) goes in for a touchdown as he is tackled by Atlanta's Sharrod Neasman (41) and Foye Oluokun. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Falcons, Dan Quinn off to 0-4 start

The Falcons were in a tough spot. They were banged up in the secondary coming into the game and then took on more injuries Monday, most notably safety Damontae Kazee’s Achilles injury. There are only so many Band-Aids you can put on a secondary. Rodgers is going to find the holes. Green Bay improved to 4-0, and look like a Super Bowl contender with Rodgers as hot as he is. There’s no shame in losing to them this season.

Yet, it’s hard to get excited about anything with the Falcons. The defense was injured but so was a Packers offense that played without their top two receivers, Davante Adams and Allen Lazard. Atlanta’s offense is supposed to be a strength but didn’t score a touchdown in the first half. When Atlanta finally got in the end zone to cut Green Bay’s lead to 20-9, the Falcons defense gave up an easy drive that finished with a wide-open score to tight end Robert Tonyan. Safety Jamal Carter slipped and tried to tackle Tonyan to avoid giving up a touchdown. Tonyan got up and was still open by about 10 yards for the score. It was Tonyan’s third touchdown of the night.

Maybe there’s not much Quinn could have done. Injuries in the secondary piled up and he lost Julio Jones in the first half when he aggravated a hamstring injury that has affected him all season. Calvin Ridley was injured coming into the game and didn’t record a catch. No matter the issues, it all adds up to 0-4, and eventually Falcons owner Arthur Blank won’t keep standing by his coach.

Falcons have rallied for Quinn before

The Falcons were 4-9 in 2018. They won their final three to make it a respectable 7-9 finish. Last season they were 1-7 and Quinn was in trouble, but Blank let him keep his job and the Falcons rallied to finish 7-9 again.

It’s getting harder to imagine Quinn digging out of another huge hole this season. The Falcons blew a 20-point lead to the Dallas Cowboys and a 16-point lead to the Chicago Bears. A botched onside kick recovery against the Cowboys, which was the key play in the ridiculous collapse, will be tough for anyone to forget.

Monday night was a garden-variety loss. The Falcons’ defense was bad. The offense couldn’t keep Atlanta in the game. Rodgers was throwing touchdowns to his wide-open tight end who practically nobody had heard of before the season started.

There are four 0-4 NFL teams. The New York Giants can’t fire first-year coach Joe Judge yet. Adam Gase of the New York Jets is on every hot seat list there is. O’Brien got fired after the Texans’ 0-4 start.

Quinn has been in this position before, with everyone wondering if he’ll have his job for the Falcons’ next game. The only opinion that that matters belongs to Blank. He can’t be enjoying what he’s seeing from his team.

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