The Atlanta Falcons have continued to start Marcus Mariota despite the quarterback’s struggles of handing the ball to the wrong team or failing to complete simple throws. Mariota has had great moments including last Sunday when he scrambled to set up the walk-off-field goal. The problem for the Falcons is for every great moment Mariota puts on tape there seem to be two plays he either turns the ball over, holds it too long, or misses an easy throw.
If Atlanta loses last week after the Mariota overtime interception it is hard not to think the team would at least consider starting Ridder this week against the Chargers. Despite the fact that they probably should start him anyway Ridder is going to remain on the bench for the time being.
Arthur Smith has proven himself as a great coach though his loyalty to Mariota could be pointed at as a potential weakness. Mariota’s struggles have certainly consistently left the door open to starting the rookie and still, Atlanta has remained with Mariota as their starter.
That isn’t going to change this week against the Chargers and is unlikely to change anytime soon. With very winnable games ahead this is a Falcons team that is going to remain in the mix for the division and as long as that happens Smith simply has to point to the record as the reasoning for keeping the veteran in.
This does have some merit when you consider that Ridder could be a disaster as a rookie on a rebuilding roster. Though if the preseason was any indication Ridder is mature beyond his years and will prove himself to be the franchise quarterback this team is missing with Matt Ryan now riding the bench in Indy.
Atlanta is unlikely to find out whether or no Ridder is the answer he is believed to be anytime soon. Mariota is this team’s starter and has proven he will have to completely implode and lose multiple games for Smith to be willing to pivot to the rookie quarterback.