I won’t lie, I was very critical of the entire coaching staff all week long, from Mora to Knapp to Donatella (and no that is not a typo). I will also admit I expected the Falcons to lose this game with their recent performances against the Giants, Cardinals, and Saints. And now I have a nice big plate of crow in front of me, and I’m going to enjoy eating it all. Throw a bunch of salt on it, and it almost takes like chicken…that has been dipped in bile.
But I’m not all smiles. In fact, I will be even more critical of the coaching staff and the players from this point onwards. Now the standards have been raised. We have finally discovered our successful passing game. But we need to build off this. No, I’m not expecting Vick to throw over 200 yards and 4 touchdowns each week. This game will likely be the best statistically he’ll play all year long. But I want to see more games like this one, not statistically, but where he properly managed the game. I want to see fewer turnovers on his part (although I don’t blame him too much for the pair of INTs).
The coaching staff (with exception of Donatella) really brought it today. Thank you Joe DeCamillis for not making me seem so crazy for talking you up a few weeks ago. The Falcons were prepared. Why can’t we see more of these performances consistently? When Jim Mora was looking across the field at his counterpart today, in Bill Cowher he should have seen a coach that consistently motivates his team. The Steelers record may not be too great right now, but how many times have you ever seen the Steelers come out flat and just be completely inept, whether it’s at the outset of the game or in the second half? I’m sure you’ll be thinking for some time about that one, I know I will. Now think about how many times you’ve seen that from the Falcons. You’re going to run out of fingers and toes pretty quickly. An interesting stat I discovered is that this football team under Mora’s leadership is 3-6 in road games following a home victory. I will definitely be looking hard at their performance next week against the Bengals to see if that poor record grows worse. I’ve said for some time, if this team is a playoff-caliber team right now, it will win 2 of this 3 game stretch against the Giants, Steelers, and Bengals. Winning next week will be huge for this team and this coaching staff in my eyes. And I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to state that a loss next week saps any and all positives that came out of this week’s win.
I’m happy with this win, and I’m not going to be too critical of the coaching staff or Michael Vick this week. If you doubt my sincerity in my contentness, just know that I went to school in Pittsburgh, and know more Steeler fans than I do Falcon fans. And after witnessing their Super Bowl win last year, it definitely feels good to have a little something to hold over their head, even if it’s not a title. He might be a terrible quarterback in their eyes, but I’m sure I can sleep better at night knowing they have yet to find a way to beat him.
As I said on the forums earlier in the week, we need to see Michael Vick making that ascension to the next level in this offense by the end of this year. This was hopefully the first of many steps.