The Atlanta Falcons lost a game they had no business losing Sunday, squandering a 39-24 lead to the Dallas Cowboys in the final five minutes. Even worse, the Falcons appeared to not know the rule for onside-kick recovery, which allowed the Cowboys to recover an onside kick and win the game on a field goal as time expired.
It was inexcusable – and, for Zach Gelb, further evidence that Falcons owner Arthur Blank needs to fire Dan Quinn.
“It’s either they had the biggest brain fart ever in the year of 2020 with the NFL, or they didn’t know the rule,” Gelb said on The Zach Gelb Show. “Either way, Arthur Blank, we could throw a coach underneath the bus – and I know they had a lot of changes on that staff – but you’re the guy that needs to take the blame for this. You’ve allowed Dan Quinn to take a team that was almost going to win a Super Bowl, and they have run it into the ground with a roster that has talent. You’ve got Matt Ryan, you’ve got Julio Jones, you’ve got Calvin Ridley, and whenever there’s a pressure situation, your team doesn’t show up.”
The Falcons, of course, choked away a 28-3 lead to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. On Sunday, they led 26-7, 29-10 and 39-24. Nevertheless, they lost.
“You’re up 39-24 late in the fourth and you didn’t get a victory,” Gelb said. “Embarrassing, pathetic, awful job by the Atlanta Falcons. If Dan Quinn makes it through the season, Arthur Blank is more lost than what we thought. Maybe you give it a few more weeks. I would have fired him two years ago. I would have fired him today for blowing that lead. Someone has to go because of that. Arthur, what are you waiting for? Another 7-9 season? A 6-10 season?”
The Falcons have finished 7-9 in each of the last two seasons. They went 21-11 in 2016-17 but are 14-20 since 2018.
“You have been too passive as the owner of this team,” Gelb continued. “You needed to make a move two years ago; you didn’t. You got another chance last year; you didn’t make the move. And now you’re seeing your incompetence in failing to make a move come back to bite you in the you-know-what.”