Atlanta Falcons 2023 position review and grades: Quarterback

Starting a new series where we review each position from the 2023 season and assign a grade to their performance as a whole.

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints
Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints / Chris Graythen/GettyImages
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Usually, it is best to start things off on a positive note but that is not going to be the case for this new series where we evaluate and hand out grades to each position for the 2023 Atlanta Falcons.

We all know by now that the most important position was a kryptonite for the Falcons in 2023. It was a revolving door all season which ultimately forced the team out the door early for a sixth straight season

Reviewing and grading the quarterback position for the 2023 Atlanta Falcons

You could make the case that the Atlanta Falcons suffered from poor quarterback play more than any other team in the NFL last year and they have no one to blame but themselves. They put all their trust in second-year QB Desmond Ridder and it did not pan out as they ended up benching their starter numerous times throughout the season.

Desmond Ridder:

  • 13 starts
  • 249/388 (64.2%)
  • 2,836 passing yards
  • 12 passing TDs
  • 12 interceptions
  • 193 rush yards
  • 5 rush TDs
  • 6 fumbles (3 lost)

It was not a good year for Desmond Ridder, no other way to put it. While he had some impressive moments—particularly his game against the Houston Texans—he had even more that had you yelling "what are you doing?!"

Ultimately, it was the turnovers that killed him. He could not keep the ball in the hands of the offense. When he wasn't fumbling, he was throwing interceptions. When he wasn't throwing interceptions, he was fumbling.

His turnovers landed him on the bench a couple of times and things, unfortunately, did not turn out any better.


Taylor Heinicke:

  • 4 starts
  • 74/136 (54.4%)
  • 890 passing yards
  • 5 passing TDs
  • 4 interceptions
  • 124 rush yards
  • 1 rush TD
  • 1 fumble (0 lost)

Out of all the times Taylor Heinicke took over, there was only once where the offense looked any better and that was after halftime against the Tennessee Titans.

Heinicke, while he didn't have the number of turnovers Ridder did, did not do the offense any favors. He routinely ignored open receivers and he put the ball in harm's way—often getting lucky with the result.


Logan Woodside:

  • 0 starts
  • 3/4
  • 27 passing yards
  • 0 TD
  • 1 interception

Logan Woodside finished out the Falcons season, and, well, he encapsulated the entire season. He looked like he was getting into rhythm before throwing an ugly interception which would have gone for a touchdown in any other situation.

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Summary:

Bad, just bad. Between bad play on the field, failing to learn from mistakes, and having no consistency, the quarterback position held the team back. Even average play would have got the Falcons to the playoffs and that simple fact deserves an 'F' grade.

Grade: F

Next. Falcons we would like to see return. 5 Falcons we would like to see return in 2024. dark