2. The growth Ridder showed each week
It seemed pretty obvious that Arthur Smith wanted to stick with Marcus Mariota as long as possible. Once it was obvious that Mariota’s time with the Falcons was done the veteran left the team to be with his family and deal with a knee injury. Ridder was thrown into the starting lineup in the middle of this chaos on the road in New Orleans and had a rough game. The rookie did just enough to keep Atlanta in it but wasn’t able to deliver the big plays needed to beat the Saints on the road.
Ridder followed that up with what looks like an even more impressive performance against a Ravens defense that almost beat Joe Burrow on the road with their backup quarterback. Wins against the Cardinals and Bucs followed with Ridder matching Tom Brady’s struggling offense before beating Tampa’s backups in the second half. While Ridder obviously isn’t a star quarterback everything he put on tape showed development and the ability to continue to improve his game.