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Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn watches play against the Chicago Bears during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Unless we can all agree that we'd like to pay the same amount of federal income taxes that President Trump has over the years, it's tough for Americans to find common ground on much of anything these days.

But as Monday rolled toward Tuesday, and the Atlanta Falcons were still listing Daniel Patrick Quinn as their head coach, one can't help but believe that almost every citizen of Falcons Nation wishes Quinn's sixth season would end as quickly as possible, if not yesterday.

At least everyone, it seems, but the one person who counts — Falcons owner Arthur Blank.

This isn't to say that Quinn will still have a job by the time the sun rises Tuesday. Becoming the first NFL coach since 1933 — no records were kept prior to that — to have a team score 39 points, commit zero turnovers and lose, as the Falcons did nine days ago at Dallas, is no way to boost confidence in your abilities.

Then came Sunday's meltdown at home against Chicago. Ahead 26-10 in the fourth quarter, Atlanta somehow lost. That made two straight weeks where leads of at least 15 points in the final period ended up in defeat. Again, such ineptness had never previously been seen in the NFL.

And given that — along with that blown 28-3 lead in the final half of the Super Bowl at the close of the 2016 season — it's more than enough for forlorn and frustrated Falcons fans to scream: "DQ DQ! NOW! What the heck is taking so long?"

But we're not Blank, who reportedly loves how Quinn represents his franchise every day but game day. He's viewed as a huge asset in the community with charity work, kids' clinics and such. His players love the camaraderie he has instilled throughout an organization that has sometimes had its share of off-field dysfunction.

And unlike some owners, Blank apparently hates to fire a coach during the season.

So as of late Monday afternoon, Quinn remained on the job, however short that stay of execution may ultimately become.

But should Blank fire him? As bad as the Falcons' record is today — three losses, no wins — is there any sign that Quinn might yet make the Dirty Birds playoff contenders before the season ends?

To be fair, and fans rarely are, the injuries the Falcons have suffered so far might do in even the best of teams. On Sunday, for instance, Atlanta not only took the field without future first-ballot Hall of Fame wide receiver Julio Jones and five other starters, but wideout Russell Gage was lost to a concussion in the opening half and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett went down in the second half. Injuries are part of the game, but the Falcons have had far more than their share the past three seasons, including this one. If anyone needs to be replaced it may be the training staff.

Just a hunch, but if Gage and Jarrett had been on the field for all four quarters, the Falcons would have beaten the Bears. But since they didn't, and they travel to undefeated Green Bay on Monday night, it certainly appears as if they'll be 0-4 a week from now.

After that? If Atlanta could somehow beat everyone else on its schedule that currently has a losing record, the Falcons would finish 8-8. But since one of those teams is New Orleans — which Atlanta faces twice — the odds would seem to indicate no better than a third straight 7-9 season.

Still, this isn't a one-year problem. This is a pattern, dating back to that Super Bowl collapse.

So what to do? How about this: DQ DQ, hope to be bad enough to earn one of the top three picks in next spring's draft, then do anything and everything to get Ohio State QB Justin Fields, the Georgia native and former UGA player. Then, as soon as this awful season ends, attempt to hire away Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who just won a Super Bowl ring.

Both moves would ignite hope and excitement not seen in the Big Peach since the early quarterbacking days of the mercurial Michael Vick. It would be fun football and it just might become winning football when it mattered most.

If nothing else, it might do away with this assessment from veteran defensive end Dante Fowler, Jr., now in his first year with the team.

Said Fowler after Sunday's loss: "We are a good physical team, but I want us to be a good mental team as well. All I can say is that we have basically found ways to lose these games. It gets no worse than this."

Funny, but that's what everybody thought after the Dallas game. It could get no worse than that. Then came Sunday. And at the risk of joining every person in the Peach State who believes it's time to DQ DQ, being a good mental team is usually the result of good coaching.

That the Falcons aren't one in Quinn's sixth season should tell Blank all he needs to know to fire his coach now rather than later.

Contact Mark Wiedmer at mwiedmer@timesfreepress.com.

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Chicago Bears defensive end Brent Urban (92) deflects a Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan pass during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

 

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