The Atlanta Falcons are five weeks into the season with Marcus Mariota as their starting quarterback and have an argument they could be 5-0 on the season just as easily as they are 2-3. While there is some merit to this argument it is hard to make the case that Mariota has been anything better than a bottom-five starting quarterback so far this season.
Rookie Desmond Ridder was impressive in the preseason and could easily run Arthur Smith’s offense. Right now the Falcons are focused on running a college offense that takes all the pressure off the quarterback giving Ridder easy throws and consistently leaning on the run game.
While starting Desmond against the Bucs’ pass rush could have been a mistake San Francisco has a good defense but not nearly as lethal of an offense. With Jimmy G. starting for the 49ers this game is going to be close and fast-moving with both teams wanting to run the ball and control the clock.
Ridder being put into the lineup against a good defense in his first start is a risk, however, it is one the Falcons should take considering what they have seen from Mariota so far this season. The reasons to put Ridder in the lineup far outweigh the concerns.