4 Atlanta Falcons who must drastically improve in the 2023 season
3. Desmond Ridder
Desmond Ridder looked lost in his first game as the starter on the road in New Orleans and clearly was outplayed by Andy Dalton. Even for a rookie making his first start it isn’t an ideal way to begin one’s career losing to an average quarterback against a hated division rival failing to throw for 100 yards in a passing league against a struggling secondary.
Each week Ridder improved, however, taking a step forward clearly in each of his four starts. That improvement was noticeable but still had the Falcons in close games against David Blough and Tyler Huntley before Ridder blew a resting Bucs team off the field.
The progression and growth were there for a quarterback who looked overwhelmed in week one but to keep the starting job there will have to be a drastic improvement in the 2023 season. Atlanta needs to build a team that allows Ridder to simply play point guard as they had hoped Mariota was capable of in the 2022 season. Ridder is going to face a lot of pressure this off-season but has the benefit of working with his teammates as the starter and a full year to get ready to take that next step forward.