Atlanta Falcons: 3 positives from Desmond Ridder’s debut vs. Lions
Second positive for the Atlanta Falcons’ rookie QB: Desmond Ridder went out there and took his check-downs, scrambled when he needed to, and refused to end a play with negative yards
One thing you worry about with rookie QBs is that they get way too confident and try to force passes into tight windows when there is a checkdown right in front of them, but for the Falcons’ rookie quarterback, that was not the case.
Think about how he just took what the defense gave him throughout the game. He would survey the field, look for a checkdown, and if that was not an option then he would just take it himself. Even in the rare case where the defense had him trapped, he was okay with simply throwing the ball away.
What that tells you is that he has listened to the coaches and proven to them that he can play small ball. He did not try to do too much.
His two throws that could have been interceptions were just short throws, it is not like he just heaved the ball up to the defense. That is something that he can easily clean up and likely will as he gets more experience.
Do you want to see deep shots every so often? For sure, but constantly doing that will just put you in bad situations on third down.
Ridder also had numerous times where he — much like Marcus Mariota — recognized that the blitz was coming and maneuvered his way through to pick up positive yards. That is why Arthur Smith brought in two mobile guys, he wants a quarterback who can get out of a play that the defense has blown up.
He was also playing behind a shaky offensive line but managed to not get sacked a single time. That is impressive.
Other than a fumble that he recovered himself, Desmond Ridder did not have a dropback that resulted in negative yards. That will make your coaches happy.