Expectations for the Falcons in 2022 have always been low, and the team that blew a 16-point lead in a Week 1 loss to the Saints won’t change that. But Atlanta coach Arthur Smith decided the loss was the best time to target the media.
smith took out his frustration over the game on reporters, calling them out for writing the team off in the spring.
“you guys wrote our obituary in may and you will continue to write our obituary. who cares? because we have 16 games. if we don’t learn from this and improve, and we have to go play (the rams), they have a jump three days on us,” said smith. “so we’ll watch the tape, look for corrections, and then we have to get going.”
“you will continue to write our obituary. who cares? we have 16 games.” 👀🍿 arthur smith didn’t have it today. 🎥: @thekellypricepic.twitter.com/rls4wojzaa
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but smith wasn’t done. he ended his press conference by telling reporters to “write whatever you want.”
“You guys ranked us 45th, you buried us in May. Bury us again, we don’t care, we’ll get back to work,” Smith said as he finished.
arthur smith then ended his postgame press conference after some questions with a farewell: “you buried us in may. bury us again. we don’t care. we’ll get back to work.” https://t.co/ipijbod9lj pic.twitter.com/rw8one9uda
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smith berating the media after an ugly loss won’t help eliminate the criticism. The Falcons led 16-7 at halftime, 23-10 after three quarters and 26-10 at the start of the fourth quarter on Sunday. And there are plenty of issues for Atlanta to address.
quarterback marcus mariota tried to climb near the goal line, but instead of sliding, he took a big hit that fumbled the ball. New Orleans recovered the fumble on their 5 with 3:11 left in the third quarter. Although the Saints needed to punt in the ensuing series, they still took at least three points from Atlanta.
After the falcons built a 16-point lead on younghoe koo’s fourth-quarter field goal, their defense collapsed. James Winston needed four plays to drive the Saints 75 yards for a touchdown and then add a 2-point conversion to make it 26-18.
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atlanta’s offense stalled and winston hit the falcons defense again, completing 7 of 8 passes for 86 yards to bring the score to 26-24. New Orleans’ 2 point attempt failed.
The Falcons took time off the clock, but still had to punt with 54 seconds left in the game. a punt penalty moved the ball 10 yards to the saints’ 20.
On the first play of the next drive, Winston found Jarvis Landry for 40 yards. An intentional grounding penalty set the Saints back 10 yards, but Winston recovered it and then some more with a 17-yard pass to Juwan Johnson in the Falcons’ 33rd. Will Lutz drilled a 51-yard field goal to put the Saints up 27-26.
The Saints had a chance to get back into the lead, driving to the New Orleans 45 and giving Koo a chance for a 63-yard field goal, but the kick was blocked to end the game.
It’s no secret that expectations are low for Smith’s Falcons. sports news ranked them 29th in their final preseason power rankings. but blowing a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter and then having their coach take photos with the media won’t help them prove those expectations wrong.