The Atlanta Falcons shouldn’t start Marcus Mariota against the Jets
By Nick Halden
The Atlanta Falcons are getting ready for their season preseason game on Monday night against the New York Jets. Marcus Mariota started the first preseason game for Atlanta leading a touchdown drive before rookie Desmond Ridder took over the remainder of the night.
Mariota’s first drive of the preseason should be his last for a player who has shown he is injury prone dealing with a myriad of injuries with the Raiders and Titans. In the first preseason game of the year, Mariota was running for his life creating first downs with his legs and taking far too many hits in a meaningless game.
If the Falcons insist on starting Mariota they should instruct the quarterback to simply focus on his first two reads throwing the ball away if a play isn’t there. Mariota’s ability as a scrambler and play creator is simply too valuable to risk a preseason injury.
The Falcons have made it clear they are committed to Mariota starting the season as their quarterback. If that is the case Atlanta needs to protect the player from himself not allowing him to play in a meaningless game.
Desmond Ridder and tight end/quarterback Feleipe Franks are more than capable of handling the snaps against the Jets. Franks didn’t play at quarterback in Atlanta’s first preseason game taking all of his snaps at the tight-end position.
It would be a great chance for Franks to take snaps at both positions displaying his value or lack thereof. Franks value to this roster is going to be his ability to play multiple positions if he can’t make an impact at either, however, the team may be forced to move on from the project quarterback.
Regardless of whether it is Franks and Ridder or the entire game is handed to Ridder Marcus Mariota shouldn’t start in this game for a team that is going to have to protect its quarterback if they want Mariota to stay healthy throughout the season.