1. How long the Falcons stuck with Marcus Mariota
Mariota’s season with Atlanta is over and Desmond Ridder will be the starting quarterback for the final two games of the season. While this isn’t shocking even with Ridder’s first two games in mind it is completely shocking how long Arthur Smith and the Falcons stuck with Mariota as the starter despite his clear inability to run an offense.
Whether it was a turnover, a missed read, taking a sack, or staring down an open receiver it seemed Mariota made at least one game-killing mistake each week, and still, the Falcons continued to stick by the veteran.
This likely speaks to two things the first is not believing Ridder was ready to step into a starting role. The second and more interesting aspect of this is the immense respect that this team and Arthur Smith had for Mariota as a teammate and a leader.
While it is understandable to want to stick with a veteran who is winning games Mariota was hardly ever the reason Atlanta found success on offense. The Falcons clearly needed to make a change far before they actually benched Marcus.