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What Arthur Smith said about Falcons season, future after loss to New Orleans Saints

The Falcons finish the season 7-10 for the third consecutive year.

NEW ORLEANS -- For the third consecutive year, the Atlanta Falcons finished the season with a 7-10 record. This season's ending came after a 48-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints, the largest margin of victory for any opponent this season when facing the Falcons.

Directly following the game, head coach Arthur Smith was asked whether or not he had been given any indication of possible changes to his job status as head coach.

"We just finished the game," Smith said. "I understand the questions -- appreciate them. I love doing what I do."

When asked what case he would make to remain the Falcons head coach in 2024, Smith had this to say:

"With any job, you got a lot of confidence, but I am not going to give a state of the union right now on everything that's happened the last three years. … The season just ended. It wasn't the result we needed today, and clearly the second half got out of hand. Credit to New Orleans."

Falcons owner Arthur Blank declined comment following Smith's press conference.

The Falcons took a 17-17 tie into halftime following a solid first half performance by Desmond Ridder and the Atlanta offensive unit. Ridder was 14-of-16 passing with 231 passing yards, including a 71-yard, catch-and-run touchdown by Bijan Robinson. Those 17 points were the most points scored by the Falcons offense in a first half this year.

Despite getting the ball first coming out of the halftime break, the Falcons couldn't punch it into the end zone for the remainder of the game. Three interceptions, two from Ridder, and a fumble on their own 25-yard line put the Falcons in hot water in the second half. What transpired after those turnovers were scores for New Orleans. The Saints put up 31 unanswered points in final half of Sunday's game, 21 of those 31 points came in the drives that directly followed Falcons turnovers.

The tale of turnovers has been a story plaguing the Falcons all season. Things were no different in New Orleans with Smith saying turnovers and inconsistent offensive play "happened too much this year." You'd see flashes of what this offense could be, he said, but those flashes were just that: Here one moment, and gone the next.

"Your job is to consistently do it," Smith said, "and we didn't do it."

Because the Falcons didn't beat the Saints while the Buccaneers did beat the Panthers, any playoff hope for Atlanta is officially snuffed out.

The goal, Smith said, is to always make a push to the postseason and keep stacking wins.

"When you don't do that?" he said. "Nobody feels great."

"... Every season takes its twists and turns, every week you're trying to improve, you're trying to win the game, stay relevant and get to the postseason. We didn't do that."

In the end, though, after all postgame press conferences were said and done, it was Ridder who summed things up best.

"Things didn't go the way we expected it to go," Ridder said. "This season. This game. This year."

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