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The Atlanta Falcons have a chance to get out the “In-Between”

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The Atlanta Falcons are stuck in sports purgatory.

The Atlanta Falcons have found themselves in the worst spot for sports, or really any organization to be in the In-Between.

It’s, unfortunately, something that dooms every Atlanta team, as the Hawks were stuck there for years with Joe Johnson. But that’s where the Falcons are now. And they have a decision to make.

The Falcons have always been good enough to get to the playoffs and play themselves out of a top draft pick at the most inopportune time. They’ll start 1-7 but finished 6-2. They’ll go 10-6 but lose in the Divisional round of the playoffs. So you look at Atlanta and they clearly aren’t a bottom dweller as they’ll beat good teams but then they aren’t competing with the top tier.

So how do teams like the Falcons get out of sports purgatory? You commit to a rebuild or a spending spree. Notice the word “or.” Very few franchises have pulled this off at the same time. In fact, the Warriors are trying to do it now in the NBA. They sat Steph and Klay for the majority of the year, scouted some young players, moved some pieces but now have a lottery pick with still generational talent.

Enter the Atlanta Falcons.

The Falcons committed to a spending spree on offense but a rebuild on defense. Except their rebuild has been too much for their offense to overcome. They cancel each other out, hence the in-between.

The Falcons offense is littered with first-round picks, Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Jake Matthews, Kaleb McGary, Chris Lindstrom, Todd Gurley, my goodness you get the point. The Falcons have invested a ton of money in some of those guys.

Defensively, it’s rebuild time.

Their secondary and defensive line is a joke. Outside of Grady Jarrett, no one has deserved the money they are getting. Isaiah Oliver has no reason to be on this team outside of the practice squad, AJ Terrell is a rookie playing one of the hardest positions in the NFL, there is no pass rush, in fact, name four guys not named Jarrett or McKinley on that defensive line.

Exactly.

The silver lining is the Falcons 0-5 start. Yes, going winless is a silver lining. It’s time for the Falcons to commit to the rebuild. This team, as constructed, will not and cannot compete for a Super Bowl. That’s just a fact. And due to poor spending habits this past offseason, Atlanta isn’t equipped to go the spending spree route. Instead, the last few years of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones will be wasted waiting for the defense to catch up.

Hence, the Atlanta Falcons leadership has a decision to make. And there has been no better time than to rebuild. At year’s end, you will have a new coach, new GM, new coaching staff, and a high draft pick. That breath of fresh air means burn it down and start it over.

Next: Falcons shouldn’t be in a rush to get rid of Matt Ryan

Whether Arthur Blank is here to see it through doesn’t matter. But at the very least, it’s time for Atlanta to get out of the in-between and start committing to something.

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Buffalo Bills: Trent Murphy, Harrison Phillips inactive for Week 6

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Dawson Knox but he was joined by Harrison Phillips and Trent Murphy, who are two healthy scratches this week.

It was certainly surprising to see Phillips and Murphy being inactive as they have been key parts of the rotation at defensive tackle and defensive end. However, the pass rush has been lacking and the Bills could be trying to free up more playing time for players like Vernon Butler and Darryl Johnson who provide more in that area.

However, the Buffalo Bills also elevated two players, defensive tackle Justin Zimmer and defensive end Bryan Cox Jr., from their practice squad for this game. This certainly makes sense and expect to see both players on the field for this game.

Zimmer saw some playing time in Week 1 against the New York Jets and played well. As for Bryan Cox Jr. he has spent time with the Carolina Panthers and Cleveland Browns. While he didn’t play for McDermott during his time in Carolina, he did play for Eric Washington who was defensive coordinator for the Panthers and is now the defensive line coach for the Bills.

Another surprise inactive this week is linebacker Matt Milano, who will miss his second straight game due to a pec injury. There appeared to be a good chance he would play this week after practicing in full on Saturday. He will be replaced once again by Tyrel Dodson, who likely will face the tough challenge of slowing down tight end Travis Kelce.

The absence of Knox also creates another chance for Tyler Kroft to see extended snaps. The last time Kroft started was in Week 3 against the Los Angeles Rams and he finished the game with two touchdowns.

Next: 4 under the radar players on the Bills to watch in Week 6

The other inactives for the Buffalo Bills are quarterback Jake Fromm, running back Zack Moss, and offensive lineman Quinton Spain.

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3 takeaways from Packers’ Week 6 loss to Buccaneers

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Green Bay Packers, Matt LaFleur – Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers lost their first game of 2020. Here are three takeaways.

The Green Bay Packers‘ undefeated run comes to an end.

For three quarters, the Packers were outplayed on both sides of the ball, eventually losing 38-10.

It was a disappointing end to an impressive winning run the Packers had made to start the season. What did we learn from Sunday’s defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

1. Turnovers and penalties are costly

In his entire career leading into this game, Aaron Rodgers had only thrown two pick-sixes. He threw a third and almost had a fourth in this game. Leading 10-0, the momentum swung Tampa Bay’s way when Rodgers threw a pass to Davante Adams, only to be intercepted by Jamel Dean 32 yards for a touchdown.

Only moments later, another pass for Adams was tipped and picked by Mike Edwards, who returned it 37 yards. The Bucs were set up on the Packers’ two-yard line and Ronald Jones ran in a touchdown.

All of a sudden, the Packers were down 14-10 and it felt like they went into panic mode. The game was far from gone, but after an efficient start, they fell apart on both sides of the ball.

And it soon became an undisciplined performance for the Packers. They gave up six penalties in the game for a total of 76 yards, while the Bucs didn’t have one. You could argue the Bucs were fortunate not to be called for a couple early on, such as a roughing the passer on Rodgers that wasn’t called, or an offsides that was missed on one of the interceptions. But that’s no excuse for the Packers’ own six penalties.

Hopefully, this was just one of those games. Turnovers and penalties hadn’t been an issue in the opening four games. They need to get back on track in Week 7.

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Colts’ horrific start against Bengals proves this is all on the coaching

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It’s now 24-21, but still. This shouldn’t be happening.

It’s safe to say we can blame the coaching staff, starting with Frank Reich, for this one. How you can you be this unprepared for a Bengals team that has won three games since the start of 2018? Why are we still not getting TY Hilton involved? Why are we relying on Jack Doyle to do anything productive? He literally fumbled the ball without anybody touching him to start this game.

The Colts are admittedly missing key players. Darius Leonard is out again. Mo Alie-Cox was ruled out. Daurice Fountain didn’t suit up either, and he was supposed to provide support for the WR corps. But that’s no excuse. This Bengals team has a rookie quarterback who is barely protected! The Colts have the best front-four rush in the NFL.

What is defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus doing? Why isn’t offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni trying to establish the run against one of the worst defenses against the run in the NFL? The Bengals allow an average of 159 yards per game on the ground through five weeks.

Screen passes to Doyle? SEVEN rushes in the first half? A fumble? Jonathan Taylor was the leading receiver before Philip Rivers hit Marcus Johnson on a 20-yard pass right before the end of the half. Come on, guys. This is a travesty. It’s clear the players have to execute, but they need to be given a top-notch game plan in order to do so.

They didn’t have one for the first 22 minutes for the second consecutive Sunday. The coaching staff needs to stop this, or else the Colts will be playing from behind all season long.

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