3 Atlanta Falcons who will not be missed in 2023
2. Marcus Mariota
Mariota’s time as the Atlanta Falcons starter lasted far too long with Arthur Smith sticking with the veteran despite consistent mistakes and the inability to throw basic passes. Smith’s decision to stick with Mariota with Desmond Ridder on the bench remains one of the biggest mysteries of the 2022 season.
Putting Ridder in as the starter on the road against New Orleans and Baltimore was a questionable decision with far easier games already behind the Falcons. Atlanta waited far too long to put Ridder in the lineup speaking to the rough season that Mariota had.
Mariota is elite when it comes to buying time with his legs or creating room to scramble. The problem as the season wore on is that opposing defenses decided they simply needed to play the run and dare Mariota to throw. Rarely could Mariota beat the secondary even in man coverage failing to make college level throws at times. Mariota’s regression as a passer was obvious and will have him searching for a backup job this off-season.