One of the surprising stories is the Atlanta Falcons' third-string quarterback Logan Woodside playing at a high level. Woodside clearly is going against many players that aren't going to make the roster but still has clearly played at a higher level than in seasons past and has locked up his role as Atlanta's emergency quarterback.
Taylor Heinicke was far from sharp in his first action as an Atlanta Falcon but based on his history is the second option behind Ridder. While in seasons past this would have left Woodside likely without a job the NFL put in place a new rule that should keep Logan with the Falcons for the 2023 season.
Teams will be able to carry a third quarterback without it counting against a roster spot. This rule is due to the playoff game that left the 49ers with a running back playing the position of quarterback Brock Purdy who was unable to throw.
Atlanta will have Desmond Ridder, Taylor Heinicke, and Logan Woodside start the season in that order on the depth chart.
Woodside has given reason to believe if Atlanta were to be put in a situation where they needed a third-string quarterback the veteran is capable. Woodside led a game-winning and a game-tying drive in back-to-back weeks. The game tying drive was impressive due to Atlanta having under a minute on the clock and Woodside made a throw that gave the team a chance not only to tie but to win the game.
A drop in the endzone ended Atlanta's hopes of a comeback win and forced the Falcons to settle for a 13-13 tie at home against the Bengals. Atlanta's improvement at quarterback this season is drastic and sets the team up well with two solid backup options heading into the season.