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Petrino honeymoon is over

Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino with team owner Arthur Blank (right).So much for the Bobby Petrino honeymoon.  The Atlanta Falcons, by possessing a 0-3 record, made that possible.  Petrino, by his own admission, has said that he has never lost three consecutive games in his coaching career.  A couple incidents made this happen, unfortunately.

Firstly, and probably the incident which magnifies this mess, is the DeAngelo Hall incident.  To recap, Petrino’s first home game as a Falcons head coach was spoiled by the antics of one DeAngelo Hall.  The cornerback drew 3 penalties totalling 67 yards in what basically gave the Carolina Panthers its tying touchdown drive last Sunday.  It gets better; Hall then proceeds to go to the sidelines and in front of a national television audience, yell at Petrino until teammates intervened.

Petrino has promised unspecified “substantial” discipline but would keep it in-house unless Hall was suspeneded.  Petrino (and others) previously criticized current starting quarterback Joey Harrington (who hasn’t?) after he was sacked 7 times in 2 games.  Then the Byron Leftwich signing.  Harrington’s answer to the critics?  He passes for 361 yards against the Panthers, the ninth-best passing yardage total in Falcons history.  Whether that had to do with the criticism he received or not is uncertain, but usually a fire under your tail will produce results more often than not.

Another Petrino dilemna – the Falcons in their first 2 losses averaged only 5 points a game.  This coming from a head coach who was hired because of his reputation as an offensive guru.  And it doesn’t get any better for Petrino; the Houston Texans and QB Matt Schaub visit Atlanta this weekend.  Yes, the Matt Schaub who Atlanta traded away in the preseason and who by all accounts should be the Falcons QB. 

So as you can probably tell, Petrino has received the proverbial “baptism-by-fire”; I cannot personally think of a first-year NFL head coach who has gone 0-3 under these kind of circumstances in recent memory.  The Falcons’ best chances at getting their first victory may very well be either WEEK 6 or 7, when they play at home against the New York Giants (WEEK 6) or when they visit the New Orleans Saints (WEEK 7).  That elusive 1st victory will go a long ways towards getting the monkey off of Petrino’s back once and for all.

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