The Atlanta Falcons rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder will be making his second career start against the Ravens. Baltimore is clearly an upgrade defensively compared to the New Orleans team that Ridder faced last week and should be a much tougher test. Playing on the road in New Orleans is never easy but the competition for the rookie is clearly going to be tougher.
Arthur Smith has to stray away from the script he used last week giving Ridder early slants and screens to attempt to find some momentum. Starting quickly is going to be so important for the rookie coming off of a very rough debut.
A glass-half-full approach to Ridder’s debut would point out his late clutch throw to Drake London and the overall chemistry the two rookies showed in their first game together. London was clearly Ridder’s most trusted target and that should continue to be the case with Atlanta struggling at the receiver position outside of Olamide and London.
Expectations for Ridder in this game should be tempered, in the weather and considering the defense they are facing the Falcons will likely lean on the run game and operate the offense similar to how they ran it during Mariota’s time as a starter.
Giving Ridder more read options and the ability to make quick decisions something he is clearly already better at than Mariota.
Game two for Ridder is going to be another loss for the Falcons but a step in the right direction for the rookie who will finish with 240-passing yards and 1-touchdown in what will be seen as a step in the right direction and evidence the rookie quarterback is the future franchise quarterback Atlanta hopes he is. Baltimore and Atlanta will kick off today at 1:00 EST on FOX.