The honeymoon is over. The excuses are tiring. To be frank: I hate this team. No, not real hate directed towards individuals but instead a disgust for this organization right now. It's like everyone looked at least season's progress and assumed it would continue on to this year. That clearly isn't happening and there is plenty of blame to kick around.
Picking on the head coach is easy to do but in this case it is warranted. Ron River made some puzzling moves last year (timeout against the Saints in particular) that everyone kind of just brushed off. Those gaffes were attributed to rookie mistakes and everyone thought the organization had a competent coach at the helm. Boy were we wrong.
Rivera's cool and calm demeanor rarely emits emotion, which is fine depending on the personality of the team but I'm beginning to think this is a team that needs a fiery leader. Somebody to challenge Cam about his demeanor and somebody to light a fire under his ass. I mean, seriously, the team had the ball with about a minute to go and instead of rallying the troops and taking the opportunity to go out and win the game he looked like he was feeling sorry for himself for throwing the ball in the dirt on the previous drive. This cannot continue. Taking losses hard is fine but do it like a man. Cam is not the only one busting his tail off to try and win a football game. When the going gets tough Cam gets going.
I don't want to pile on here, I really don't. It's just so hard not to. There's so much blame to be passed around but at the end of the day it has to fall on Rivera. He's the guy that ultimately has the final say on all things and that worries me. Bottom line is this team is sitting at 1-4 when if they were able to properly execute on two plays they could be looking at 3-2. But they aren't and they don't deserve to be. Good teams find ways to win and bad teams find ways to lose.
Newton won a national championship at Auburn has been a winner throughout his career. In the NFL he hasn't been. He's come up short and in back-to-back weeks had two plays that left you thinking "Whaaat?!?!" The physical tools are there to be a great quarterback but until he figures the game out between the ears this team is never going to be able to be a winner.
With Atlanta out to a scorching start at 5-0, you can pretty much toss any division hopes to the side of the road. And probably any playoff hopes too. Over the final 11 games I hope to see fight out of this team. It's clear the defense is challenged personnel wise and that can't be fixed till the offseason, but I want to see this team implement good game plans and make sound in game adjustments. As far as the offense goes it just needs to be more consistent. Simple and plain as Cam would say. How they come out against Dallas will say a lot about this team. If they come out and put out another effort like this I think it's safe to say Rivera doesn't have this team.