NFL Roundtable: Dan Quinn's seat is getting dangerously hot

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TwinSpires Staff

September 22nd, 2020

The NFL is back, and so too is our NFL Roundtable. This week we sat down with BetAmerica Extra columnists Ashley AndersonJames Scully, and Scott Shapiro to discuss Dan Quinn's job security, the league's injury woes, and Russell Wilson's lights-out play.

Is it time for the Falcons to cut ties with Dan Quinn?

Ashley: Yes. I expected Atlanta to let Quinn go after a 1-7 start in 2019, but the Falcons showed some life in the second half of the season. Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys felt shockingly similar to the Falcons’ defeat to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI at the end of the 2016 season. To see that kind of implosion all over again proves issues run deep with the Falcons’ current coaching regime. It is time to breathe new life into this franchise and hire a new coaching staff.

James: Yes. Atlanta has featured one of the league’s most dynamic offenses since making Super Bowl LI, but they’ve never recovered since squandering a 25-point lead in the third quarter to New England. New direction is needed. Dallas rallied from a 15-point fourth quarter deficit to nip the Falcons at the buzzer last week, and it’s time to turn the page on the Dan Quinn era.

Scott: Sometimes a change is needed at the top and that appears to be the case with the Falcons. Dan Quinn was 29-19 through his first three seasons with Atlanta, but suffered a brutal loss in the Super Bowl followed by another tough one in the playoffs the following year. Since then, his team has struggled going 14-20 and has given away far too many games they should have won. The time is come for a new voice in the Falcons’ locker room. 

We saw a rash of injuries to star players in Week 2. Was it just bad luck or the natural consequence of not having a preseason?

Ashley: The limited offseason and closure of team facilities during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic likely led to some of these injuries. Training and full-contact practices were affected in the offseason. The hamstring issues we saw in Week 1 and even the ACL injuries from Week 2 could be linked to a lack of proper conditioning. But I only finished half of pre-med in college, so this is speculation, at best.

James: The lack of preseason is a factor, but some of the injuries are just bad luck. Philadelphia sustained a rash of injuries in the opening weeks last year despite having a preseason, and injuries are always going to be part of the equation given the speed and power of today’s players.

Scott: A combination of bad luck and the natural consequence of having limited practices and no preseason lead to a rash of injuries in Week 2. No doubt soft tissue injuries like hamstring pulls are a product of the modification to the 2020 schedule, but the multiple knee problems are mostly bad luck. Hopefully things get better moving forward. 

We’ve witnessed phenomenal performances so far from Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson. Who’s your early season pick for NFL MVP?

Ashley: Russell Wilson deserves the MVP at some point in his career, and if he continues at his current pace in 2020, he’ll collect the award at the end of the season. Wilson has completed an astounding 82.5% of his 63 passes for 610 yards and nine touchdowns through two games. In Week 1, he defeated the Falcons by tossing 322 yards and four touchdown passes, plus he ran for 29 yards on three carries. He looked almost as good in Week 2 against the Patriots’ dangerous secondary. Wilson threw one interception but tallied five passing touchdowns against a unit that surrendered just 13 passing touchdowns in all of 2019.

Allen and Rodgers have looked impressive so far, but they faced weaker competition. Wilson is the clear frontrunner as of Week 2.  

James: Russell Wilson. He’s elevated his play through two weeks, completing 52-of-63 passes for a combined 610 yards and nine touchdowns, and must perform at a high level given Seattle’s porous defense, which has surrendered 970 total yards and struggles to apply pressure upon opposing quarterbacks. Wilson has been brilliant so far this season.

Scott: Russell Wilson is my early season pick for NFL MVP. The star quarterback has been unstoppable through two games. He has completed 52 of 63 passes, thrown for nine touchdowns, and most importantly has led the Seahawks to two victories to start the year. He is the clear cut frontrunner for the league’s most valuable player award. 

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