Atlanta Falcons receivers set for a clear upgrade in Desmond Ridder
The Atlanta Falcons finally made a move that should have been made weeks ago benching Marcus Mariota during the bye week in favor of Desmond Ridder. This is a clear win for the Atlanta offense considering just how poorly Mariota has operated the passing attack. Ridder is yet to step foot on the field and already the Atlanta receivers have a better chance to make an impact and consistently make plays in Arthur Smith’s offense.
Drake London and Olamide Zaccheaus are both having far better seasons than the numbers might suggest and this is due to Marcus Mariota. Consistently Mariota misses wide-open reads or throws the ball wildly high giving his targets zero chance at making a play.
This problem has grown so consistent that the Atlanta passing attack is often running the same simple routes to allow Mariota to run the offense. Ridder stepping in even as a rookie is a clear upgrade for these Atlanta receivers outside of his mobility his raw talent is clearly above where Mariota is at this point in his career.
Kyle Pitts being out for the remainder of the year is the lone downside to putting Ridder in now not allowing him to build chemistry with Atlanta’s best pass catcher. Drake London should be the primary target though the complete makeup of the Atlanta passing attack could change with Mariota rarely targeting anyone aside from Atlanta’s two starting receivers.
This will be a great opportunity as well for Arthur Smith to show he can run a passing attack as well as the capable ground game he has installed in Atlanta. With the Falcons basically out of the playoff chase, these final four games should be run with a wide-open playbook on both sides of the ball allowing Ridder to show the Falcons what he is capable of as the team gets ready to make a playoff push during the 2023 off-season.