Former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn oversaw one of the greatest defenses in NFL history. After a brutal 53-32 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday, his position as Atlanta Falcons head coach is nearly indefensible.
Atlanta currently sits at 1-4 and headed for a second straight season without playoff football. Since their historic Super Bowl LI collapse, they have a record of 19-20, but this is easily the worst they’ve ever looked under Quinn.
The Texans offense came into Sunday ranked 22nd in DVOA, with Deshaun Watson getting sacked seemingly every other play (much of it his own doing). In their previous two home games, they put up a combined 23 points and Watson failed to throw a touchdown pass against either the Jacksonville Jaguars or Carolina Panthers.
Quinn’s defense allowed nearly 600 yards of total offense, 47 points (subtracting a pick-six at the end of the game), 426 yards passing and five touchdown passes for Watson, 217 receiving yards and a trio of touchdowns just to Will Fuller V, zero sacks, zero turnovers, 10/13 on third down conversions, and one punt forced. It does not get much worse than that.
If Quinn’s claim to fame was his defensive expertise, virtually none of it has ever transferred over from Seattle to Atlanta. These are his defenses ranked by DVOA for the duration of his time as Falcons head coach:
2015 - 22nd
2016 - 26th
2017 - 22nd
2018 - 31st
2019 (Week 4) - 16th (and it’s going to crash after the Texans game)
There doesn’t appear to be a lack of talent on the Falcons roster. Deion Jones is considered one of the better linebackers in the NFL. Grady Jarrett is an outstanding interior lineman who just signed a four-year contract extension . They have spent considerable draft capital on guys like Takk McKinley, Vic Beasley, Keanu Neal (who’s sadly had two season ended with serious injury), and Isaiah Oliver.
Quinn has consistently overseen one of the league’s worst defenses, and his decision to make himself defensive coordinator this season has been disastrous. He doesn’t even have an elite offense to bail him out anymore — Atlanta ranks in the bottom-half in DVOA at present, the final sign that the bottom has dropped out.
For all of the outstanding tackling Seahawks defenses have displayed over the years (but definitely not this year), that has been absent in Atlanta. He sure has been talking a hell of a lot about how the tackling needs to be better, though! (H/T FourVerts)
Falcons owner Arthur Blank appears to be standing behind his staff, although owners say a lot of shit they don’t actually mean.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank on if a coaching change is needed: "No. ... This staff has performed before. My hope is they can fix what needs to be fixed and start winning some games." https://t.co/IwMBnYVOzN— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) October 6, 2019
The Falcons host the Seahawks on October 27th before entering their bye week. Depending on the outcome, Quinn’s final game as Atlanta’s head coach may be against the team where he became one of the league’s hottest head coaching commodities. His tenure in Atlanta started so brilliantly, but much like the 2nd half of Super Bowl LI, it’s destined to end in ugly fashion.