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That the small mistakes that kept costing them games would get cleaned up. That their banged-up roster would get healthy. That the team that began the season with Super Bowl expectations would eventually show up.Time is running out. Quickly. It may already have.Sloppy early and overwhelmed late Womens Ricardo Allen Jersey , the Falcons were run over by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second half of a 41-17 loss on Sunday that dropped Atlanta to 1-4 and left coach Dan Quinn scrambling for answers."Truth is, the second half clearly we missed the standard that we uphold for one another today," Quinn said. "We completely missed our mark."Repeatedly.Playing in a city where they'd never won, the Falcons appeared to have a chance after they walked into the half down just 13-10 following safety Damontae Kazee's leaping end zone interception of Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger in the waning moments of the second quarter.Then it all fell apart. The league's 28th-ranked defense couldn't stop the Steelers on the ground or in the air. The offensive line couldn't protect Matt Ryan, who himself couldn't find a way to get the ball to star wide receiver Julio Jones when it mattered.Shadowed by Pittsburgh cornerback Joe Haden all afternoon, Jones finished with five receptions for a season-low 62 yards, all of them coming in the fourth quarter with the Falcons down double digits."They had a good game plan for me," Jones said. "Lot of (double coverage), things like that. Discouraged Matt early on in the game that two guys were going to be on me throughout the whole game."Jones came in leading the league in yards receiving but was targeted just four times while the game was competitive. Though Ryan found intermittent success elsewhere while completing 26 of 38 passes for 285 yards and a touchdown, the inability to get anything going with Jones helped Atlanta fall to 0-7-1 all-time in Pittsburgh."Obviously we want to get (Jones) involved," Ryan said. "They made a pretty concerted effort take him out and that created opportunities elsewhere."Just not nearly enough, particularly in the second half. Atlanta managed just 130 yards over the final two quarters. Running back Devonta Freeman ran eight times for 32 yards in his return after missing three games with an injury, and Ryan was sacked six times in all. His final snap encapsulated his team's nightmarish day.Ryan scrambled to his left to avoid Pittsburgh linebacker T.J. Watt only to have Watt slap the ball free. Pittsburgh's LJ Fort fell on it in the end zone with 3:35 remaining to produce the final margin."When you have success (blitzing) early Youth Deion Jones Jersey , you know they are going to go back to the well throughout the game and so they did a nice job today," Ryan said.Even the special teams was not immune, allowing a blocked punt midway through the third quarter that let the Steelers to score a pair of touchdowns in a span of 2:03 to break it open."Our run game was not up to the standard that we hold one another to," Quinn said. "I thought the pass protection wasn't what we wanted, and the third down defense I thought was a problem, not just in the second half, but for the entire day."The list goes on and on. The Steelers converted 9 of 12 third downs, ran for 131 yards and in general pushed Atlanta around. The Falcons, who lost their first three games by a combined 13 points, crumbled.The loss kept Atlanta in last place in the AFC South. Not exactly where a team that won a combined 21 games in 2016 and 2017 expected to be as mid-October approaches."We're going through a little funk right now," Falcons linebacker De'Vondre Campbell said. "It happens. But it's about how we respond to it. If we sit here and feel sorry for ourselves, we're going to continue to lose. But if we lose and make corrections and the changes we need to make, then we'll be just fine." The man who very well might finish as high as third in Heisman voting behind Tua Tagovailoa and Kyler Murray was nearly third on the Alabama depth chart behind Tagovailoa this season. Gardner Minshew was a regarded enough grad transfer that Alabama had just about locked him up before Mike Leach gave him a phone call about the spot in Pullman.The Tide had offered the East Carolina departee an eventual spot as a grad assistant Youth Grady Jarrett Jersey , presumably looking for backup insurance in the event of Jalen Hurts transferring. Leach offered him the chance to lead the nation in passing yardage. Minshew has done that, currently throwing for 48 more yards per game than anybody else and on pace for FBS’ first 5,000-yard season since Patrick Mahomes. In a year when Leach’s Cougars were losing QB Luke Falk, three starting OL, two top wideouts, DC Alex Grinch, and defensive star Hercules Mata’afa, no one thought too much of Washington State’s chances. Indeed the Cougars were close to a total rebuild when Tennessee’s AD was trying to hire Leach. Instead they patched in Minshew and are 9-1 with a good shot at a Pac-12 title and an outside shot at a playoff berth. The QB’s best known nationally for his look, which has included planting a Minshew-style mustache on Leach during a victory celebration ...... but more importantly, Minshew might be the best passer Leach has coached in Pullman.Back when Michael Lewis was writing features on Leach in the New York Times, the air raid co-founder had been rotating different 4,000-yard passers in every season at Texas Tech. After starting Kliff Kingsbury for three years, Leach plugged in four different QBs in four years Womens Matt Bryant Jersey , a parade of a fifth-year seniors in 2003 (B.J. Symons), 2004 (Sonny Cumbie), and 2005 (Cody Hodges) before another youngster in 2006 (Graham Harrell).Crucially, starters regularly got redshirts and backup seasons before taking over. It was normal for a starting Leach QB to have taken literally thousands of practice reps in each air raid concept. They were finely tuned cogs in a machine.Minshew didn’t arrive in Pullman until August, yet he’s executing the Leach air raid at a higher level than Falk did with three years of experience. Part of the reason is that Minshew has the equivalent of nearly three years of starting experience within the system between his year at Northwest Community College and two years of sporadic duties at ECU. Minshew also spent the spring working with Hal Mumme, Leach’s fellow chief air raid innovator. Then there were the three years he spent as the starting QB for Brandon High School near Jackson, Mississippi. And now Minshew could have the highest passer rating of any Leach QB since Harrell.Minshew was always an accurate passer with great feel and tight mechanics for throwing the ball on time, as you can see from his JUCO highlights ...... and he’s always had a knack for executing this style of offense, but simply didn’t have the platform to be well known around the country. But spending year after year in the system and concepts that Leach made into best practices for programs around the country gave him something close to a redshirt and thousands of practice reps.Now that Minshew is at WSU, the Cougars are operating the air raid at a much higher level than expected in what has turned out to be a down year for the league. Minshew has proved highly accurate in throwing to different parts of the field and quickly scanning through progressions.The Cougs’ season opened against one of the best defenses on the schedule, the Wyoming Cowboys, and Minshew led a 41-19 road victory, throwing for 319 yards and three TDs with a single INT against constantly shifting looks.On this pass Womens att Bosher Jersey , he beat the deep safety on a post route with perfect placement to Dezmon Patmon, a 6’4, 220-pound junior who’s emerged in a big way. First, Minshew eyes the deep safety and keeps him off the route, then he quickly sets and hits his big receiver in stride and outside the hash with time to collect the ball before the hit comes.Minshew is also fantastic at getting the ball out quickly in Leach’s classic, fast-hitting schemes like mesh ...... and shallow cross.It’s hard to convert in the red zone in this style of offense unless the QB is precise with his timing and accuracy to hit the briefly open windows that can be found when bodies start to pack in tight.Finally, he’s good at extending plays with his legs, when the finely tuned machine doesn’t create a clean look. He doesn't show off his athleticism all that often, but enough to get the job done. He also allows the Cougars to use some zone-read that makes it easier to run the ball from four-receiver sets. When a really effective pocket passer adds any degree of mobility (and he’s 220 pounds), it’s generally the final piece to the puzzle for a spread offense. When an air raid QB can distribute quickly and create opportunities even if you do cover all five receivers, things get truly dicey for defenses. That’s more or less why Mahomes is dominating the NFL.It’s amazing that Leach was able to find a fitting talent of this caliber with this level of experience, all outside of his own program.