Atlanta Falcons: Winning is no excuse to avoid Desmond Ridder
The Atlanta Falcons have a two-game winning streak which is an amazing thing and something no one should be complaining about.
Nevertheless, we have been winning despite a quarterback who has played as one of the worst at his position. We have not won because of Marcus Mariota, we have won despite Marcus Mariota.
There is no excuse for Arthur Smith to not, at the very least, have a trial run with Desmond Ridder at quarterback.
There are no more excuses for the Atlanta Falcons to not play Desmond Ridder
We all had high hopes for Marcus Mariota when he signed with the Atlanta Falcons as he is a former second-overall pick. Everyone was hoping that following his benching in Tennessee and two years on the bench in Las Vegas that he would be a different player but it is clear he has not been thus far.
There have been glimpses of potential with Marcus. He made some plays against Seattle and had an excellent first drive against Cleveland. After his first drive, it was anything but impressive from the former Oregon star.
He had two completions in the second, third, and fourth quarters combined. Where can you make excuses for that?
While his receivers did struggle to get separation, he was the quarterback of a team that was protecting him up front and running the ball at will. Isn’t that supposed to be the perfect combination for an NFL quarterback?
Even with a totally clean pocket, he was dancing around like he had five guys bearing down on him.
Arthur Smith’s decision to run the ball play after play was due to a mixture of reasons. Obviously, if the Browns cannot stop it, then don’t stop running it but it also felt like he did not want to put the ball in Mariota’s hands.
Nothing is more fun than watching a team run the ball on every play of a touchdown drive but that is not going to work every single week. The Browns were missing three starting defensive linemen due to injuries which is partially why the Falcons were pushing their opponent ten yards down the field each play.
The offense needs a passer who doesn’t commit costly mistakes like Mariota has. He has fumbled six times and thrown four interceptions in four games despite having a limited number of dropbacks. It cost the Falcons a week one win, basically cost them a week two win, and it almost cost them a week three win.
Why not try out Desmond Ridder at this point? It is not likely that he would make as many mistakes and he showed he can make elite throws in the preseason, throws that can translate to regular season games.
Arthur Smith has said that they would involve Ridder in some plays. He needs to give him a drive or two at the very least in the next couple of weeks even with them playing a couple of strong defenses.
The claim that this team is winning with Marcus Mariota is one that is surrounded by ignorance and it holds no water. Give Ridder a shot as soon as possible as it could make the Falcons a real contender.