The Atlanta Falcons lost to the New Orleans Saints 21-18 after a late comeback was snuffed out by a Drake London fumble inside Saints territory. Rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder finished the game 13/26 for 97-passing yards and added in 38-rushing yards.
Ridder’s debut was bumpy from the start with Atlanta scripting a deep shot for the rookie’s first throw helping start an 0/4 streak to start the game. Arthur Smith continually made head-scratching calls that involved Feleipe Franks in the wildcat or asking Ridder to take deep shots before completing simple passes.
Ridder had his rookie moments as well throwing two balls that should have been picked, missing a wide-open receiver, and running out the clock to end the game on an odd scramble. Ridder’s youth and inexperience were evident though it is hard to judge quickly based on the degree of difficulty.
Considering Arthur Smith’s play calls and the environment in which Ridder made his debut it would be a mistake to jump too quickly to any conclusions. While Ridder did nothing to indicate he is Atlanta’s future at the position he did nothing to show the opposite either.
One moment that will be discounted based on how it ended was the clutch throw that Ridder made to Drake London on 4th down. It was a perfect throw that converted what should have been the game-tying or game-winning drive.
If London wraps up that football the Falcons at worst are in a position to allow Koo to attempt to tie the game and force overtime. While it was one single moment it was a nice throw in a pressure situation that will be overlooked due to London’s fumble.
The road for Desmond won’t get any easier with the Falcons taking on a tough Ravens defense next week.