Quinn, GM fired with Falcons 0-5
ATLANTA — The Carolina Panthers have managed just fine without versatile offensive star Christian McCaffrey.
The Atlanta Falcons are about to see how things go without Dan Quinn as their head coach and Thomas Dimitroff as their general manager.
Teddy Bridgewater threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns, and Juston Burris made a huge interception in the end zone as Carolina held on Sunday afternoon for a 23-16 victory over the winless Falcons. It turned out to be the final blow to Quinn’s tenure in its sixth year.
The Falcons dropped to 0-5 for the first time since 1997, turning up the heat even more on their embattled coach. Then late Sunday night, the Falcons announced their coach and GM were out.
“Decisions like these are very difficult, but the previous two seasons and start to this one have been especially hard for me because of the deep love, admiration and respect I and my family have for Dan, Thomas and their families,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a release on the team’s website. “For many years, they have represented me, our team, organization and Atlanta with class, commitment and all the passion you would want in the leaders of the team. But as everyone knows, this is a results business and I owe it to our fans to put the best product we can on the field. We have poured every resource possible into winning and will continue to do so, but the results of late do not meet our standard or what I’ve promised our fans. Therefore, we will install new coaching and personnel leadership of the Atlanta Falcons at the appropriate time.
“Our finish in 2019 earned an opportunity to show that momentum could be continued and built upon, but that has clearly not happened,” Blank continued. “And overall, the last 3-plus seasons have fallen short of my commitment to Atlanta and to our fans everywhere. I want them all to know that my commitment to winning has not wavered and I will continue to provide every resource possible to that end.”
In his second season, Quinn led the franchise to just its second Super Bowl appearance, but the Falcons infamously squandered a 28-3 lead to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, losing 34-28 in overtime in February 2017.
Quinn went 43-42 overall at the helm, but he was just 14-23 since the beginning of the 2018 season.
“Honestly, it’s the furthest thing from my mind,” Quinn, speaking soon after the loss to the Panthers, said of his job security. “My job is coaching, and my focus is on us to keep playing and play the way we can.”
Carolina (3-2) won its third in a row — all since McCaffrey went down with a high ankle sprain. Mike Davis has sure taken advantage of his opportunity, filling in brilliantly for the injured All-Pro.
The Panthers built their lead behind touchdown passes of 57 yards to D.J. Moore and the short toss to Davis with 23 seconds left in the first half, drawing boos that could be heard even from a sparse, socially distanced crowd of 6,656 at 75,000seat Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Atlanta, which this season became the first team in NFL history to squander fourth-quarter leads of at least 15 points in consecutive games, tried to turn the script in the second half, but the rally was denied.
“I know I’d like to play better than I did today,” Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan said. “Late in the game, you’ve got to find a way to punch it in.”
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan looks for a receiver under pressure during Sunday’s home game against the Carolina Panthers. Ryan was 21-of-37 passing for 226 yards with no touchdowns and an interception in Atlanta’s 23-16 loss, and he was sacked twice.