Falcons coach Arthur Smith found the culprit for his team’s blown 16-point lead: Reporters.
Or, more specifically, the Falcons’ beat corps.
“You guys wrote our obituary back in May,” Smith said following Atlanta’s 27-26 loss to the Saints. “You’ll continue to write our obituary. Who cares?”
Sure seems like he does.
The Falcons, in the franchise’s signature style, gave up 17 points in the fourth quarter, culminating in Will Lutz’s game-winning field goal, which followed a New Orleans drive that started at their own 20-yard line with 48 seconds left and no timeouts.
Jameis Winston then marched down the field, hitting passes of 40 and 17 yards before Lutz’s field goal.
“We have 16 games and if we don’t learn from this and get better — we gotta go play [the Rams]. They got a three-day jump on us. We’ll watch the tape, we’ll look for corrections and then we have to get going on the Rams.
“… Write whatever y’all want. Same guys that ranked us 45th. You buried us in May, bury us again. We don’t care. We’ll get back to work.”
Loudly stating how little you care about something is, of course, a great way to show people that you do in fact care.
Understandably, Smith wasn’t in the best mood after a calamitous start to his second season at the helm. The Falcons are expected to struggle this year, having moved on from Matt Ryan, but losing the opener in such on-brand fashion — after their famous Super Bowl collapse against the Patriots — presumably didn’t help morale.