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Mike Smith says Falcons need to change playoff approach


Mike Smith has been the most successful regular season head coach in Falcons history.

He’s the first coach to have consecutive winning seasons (the streak now stands at four), the first to take them to consecutive playoff berths and his winning percentage is the best franchise history by a wide margin. The only thing Smith hasn’t been able to do is win a playoff game. The Falcons have lost their first playoff game three times under Smith, including last season’s one-sided 24-2 loss to the Giants.

In an interview with 790 The Zone in Atlanta, via, Smith said the team needs to alter their approach to come up with better results. And the first person who needs to make some changes is Smith himself.

“Well obviously we have to do it different than what we’ve done in the past. We’ve been there, we just haven’t been very successful. So it starts with me in evaluating how I prepare our football team, or we as a coaching staff prepare our football team. And believe me, we’ve done some soul searching. When you go to the places that we’ve been and not have the success that you want in those situations, it’s tough. And I know everybody’s disappointed, but nobody’s more disappointed than I am — I can assure you that.”

There have been a lot of things to blame about the team’s playoff losses, but the one common thread has been that Matt Ryan hasn’t played well in any of them. He had three turnovers in each of the first two losses and completed 24-of-41 passes against the Giants in a game that the Falcons led 2-0 in the second quarter.

Smith and the Falcons are wise to investigate every possible avenue to improve their results, but they won’t make much difference if Ryan doesn’t start playing better when they get to the postseason.