Mike Smith's approval rating falling

September, 29, 2011
9/29/11
12:01
PM ET
For most of his four seasons in Atlanta, Mike Smith has fared pretty well in the SportsNation NFL Coach Approval Ratings. That has changed.

Smith, who often has had an approval rating of around 80 percent, has plummeted to 26 percent in the Week 4 voting. Only six coaches rank below him. Things like that tend to happen when you come into a season picked by some to win the Super Bowl and you start off 1-2. I'm guessing if there were a similar poll for coordinators, Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey would have an even lower approval rating than Smith.

But 1-2 doesn’t always mean low ratings. Carolina’s Ron Rivera also is 1-2, but 83 percent of voters approve of the job he’s doing. He’s only one percent behind Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy, who is 3-0 and coming off a Super Bowl championship. Rivera also has the highest approval rating of any NFC South coach.

New Orleans’ Sean Payton is next at 82 percent and Tampa Bay’s Raheem Morris is at 80 percent.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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