Arthur Smith made it clear on Wednesday that the Atlanta Falcons have a new starting quarterback for now. Smith danced around any questions about what the position looks like past this week when the Falcons play the Vikings.
We did learn that Desmond Ridder is cleared and healthy enough to be the second option behind Taylor Heinicke on Sunday. There are a myriad of ways to look at this move but the obvious one is that the Falcons are sitting a turnover-prone quarterback against a blitz-happy defense.
The Vikings are at the top of the league when it comes to going after the quarterback. Desmond Ridder has shown an inability to adjust once he is rattled. We watched this both against the Lions and Jaguars when the Falcons' offense struggled to make it to ten points.
Taylor Heinicke is being set up to give Smith the ability to play both sides and go in either direction. Heinicke can be a turnover-prone player as well and the Vikings are going to force Taylor to make quick decisions. This game has all the makings of being one extreme or the other for the Atlanta veteran.
Either way, Arthur Smith wins with the decision being made for him with a huge game from Heinicke or turnovers and poor decisions putting Ridder back in the lineup for the rest of the year. Either way, this will be the end of the quarterback debate for the Falcons.
One thing is sure barring Ridder or Heinicke becoming different players in the final nine games this is a team that is going to be in the quarterback market. With Ryan Tannehill, Kirk Cousins, and perhaps Kyler Murray hitting the market it isn't a loaded quarterback class.
If Ridder doesn't find his way back into the lineup and finish strong Atlanta's best path forward remains keeping this roster intact and chasing Kirk Cousins.