The Atlanta Falcons offense, head coach, and quarterback have all taken their fair share of shots over the last three weeks of the season. While the criticism was well warranted for at least this week Arthur Smith's faith in Desmond Ridder has paid off. Younghoe Koo kicked a walk-off field goal to give the Atlanta Falcons their third victory on the year in what was by far Ridder's most impressive game of his career.
Ridder was far better than even the numbers show hurt by turnovers and penalties that weren't the fault of the Atlanta quarterback. Not only was Ridder great at distributing the ball but managed to use his cadence to cause four penalties on a jumpy Houston defense.
This is who Atlanta expected Desmond Ridder to be coming into the season. Not forcing the deep plays simply taking what the defense gave him, using his legs, and the play action to keep the defense off balance and control the clock.
Twice after terrible fumbles derailed drives Ridder stayed locked in and drove the ball down the field to take the lead and again to kick the game-winning field goal. It would have been easy to simply believe it wasn't their day with the way this offense struggled to maintain drives, however, Ridder never let up and was exactly the calming presence he has needed to be for the past weeks of the season.
Smith's confidence in Desmond has never publicly wavered despite calls (this writer included) for the Falcons to give the position another look. Smith continued to show belief in Desmond and at least for one week the head coach has been proven correct with Ridder having the best game of his young career and again giving Falcons fans hope that perhaps this season might prove to be different.