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Mike Smith fired by Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons had just too much talent over the past two years to win just 10 games under Mike Smith in that span.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons have announced that head coach Mike Smith won't be returning for an eighth season after submitting a second consecutive losing year.

Though the Falcons were in the thick of the NFC South race until Week 17, the team was blown out 34-3 at home by the Carolina Panthers in a game that decided the division. There were reports that Smith needed at least one playoff win to save his job.

Smith led the Falcons to the playoffs four times during his seven-year career in Atlanta, including an NFC Championship appearance following a 13-3 regular-season in 2012. In fact, the Falcons posted just two losing seasons under Smith, but those came in the last two years, and he ends his time in Atlanta with a 66-46 record.

Prior to Sunday's game, ESPN reported the Falcons had hired search firm Korn Ferry to identify head-coaching candidates in the event the team made a coaching change.