After losing to the Seattle Seahawks 33-10, the Atlanta Falcons are at their worst 9-game start to a season since 2003. 2003 is the year Michael Vick broke his leg in the 3rd game of the preseason and did not return until week 14 of that year. Doug Johnson and Kurt Kittner combined for a 2-10 record in Vick's absence. Ten years later, the Falcons are facing a similar problem: injuries to key players.
The most notable of the Falcons injuries is Julio Jones being out for the year with a foot injury. Also, Roddy White has not been 100% as well as Steven Jackson. Offensive linemen, Mike Johnson's, leg injury has proved to hurt the Falcons offense more than most thought. Needless to say, the offensive line has played terribly most of this season; and I would like to think that having Mike Johnson would have helped Atlanta tremendously. Asante Samuel not being 100%, earlier this year, hurt Atlanta's sub-par secondary. Injuries to linebackers, Sean Weatherspoon, Stephan Nicholas, and Akeem Dent, forced two undrafted, rookie-free agents to start a number of games so far. I think the injury to Kroy Biermann is one of the most important. He was supposed to have a breakout season and be a force at defensive end. Without him, Atlanta has failed to create pressure against opposing quarterbacks. So, clearly, the injury "bug" has been inside the Falcons' locker room in 2013.
There has been plenty of talk about head coach Mike Smith possibly getting fired this year. After the loss to Seattle, general manager, Thomas Dimitroff, said that coach Smith is "going nowhere." This made quite a bit of fans upset. But why are they upset? The injuries I've pointed out are not coach Smith's fault, as well as Atlanta's lack of execution. Smith has made some terrible decisions this season, especially on 4th down. But those decisions should not overshadow that he's the winningest coach in Falcons history, he has led a team (who had never had back-to-back winning seasons) to 5 straight winning seasons that include 3 consecutive seasons of at least 10 wins, and he's pretty much the reason the Falcons are getting a new stadium in a few years.
So despite the demands of fans, Mike Smith will not be fired any time soon. Atlanta has found themselves behind the 8-ball with a plethora of injuries and a 2-7 start; but at least our quarterback isn't in prison.
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