The Atlanta Falcons won’t be in the playoffs next week after falling to the New Orleans Saints in a blowout on the road in Week 18.
But Falcons head coach Arthur Smith gave Saints head coach Dennis Allen an earful about how Sunday’s blowout finished in the Superdome in New Orleans.
The Falcons pulled their starters from the game once the Saints iced it with a fumble recovery and touchdown to make it 41-17 in the fourth quarter. Desmond Ridder’s backup at quarterback, Logan Woodside, took over and ended up throwing an interception to Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu, who took it back to Atlanta’s one-yard line.
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Instead of just kneeling it out with 1:10 left on the clock, Allen decided to allow running back Jamaal Williams to score a rushing touchdown to make it 48-17.
There are unwritten rules in sports not to beat down on a team when victory is imminent, but the Saints seemingly didn’t care in that moment.
So, when it was time for the customary shaking of hands by head coaches after the clock hit zero, Smith immediately walked to the middle of the field where he started yelling at Allen.
“That’s f—ing bulls—,” Smith was heard saying to Allen.
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“I understand that,” Allen responded to Smith.
Before that play even happened, the Falcons were out of playoff contention because of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ win over the Carolina Panthers, which secured the NFC South title for the third straight season.
The Saints would’ve secured the division if the Buccaneers lost after defeating the Falcons.
Now, there’s a lot of questions heading into the offseason for Atlanta, particularly with Smith and his coaching staff. There’s been rumblings for seasons now about Smith being let go by the Falcons to make way for another head coach.
After missing out on the playoffs again in a bad NFC South all around, Smith is in the hot seat.
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Smith took over the Falcons in 2021, and he’s seen three straight losing seasons by going 7-10 in each.