Whether or not you believe the Atlanta Falcons will turn it around there is truth in that in Arthur Smith's third season the team continues to drop close games and too often fails to adjust. Smith has done a lot of things well during his time in Atlanta but isn't blameless in the team's offensive struggles or poor late-game decision-making.
Desmond Ridder is going to be given a lot of heat this week not only for the three interceptions but how he has played overall outside of the Houston game. That is completely understandable and somewhat deserved for a young quarterback learning on the job.
However, before pushing all of the blame in Ridder's direction consider how the head coach has handled the season. Desmond was the guy and even in his worst starts Smith made it clear he was loyal to his quarterback and scoffed at considering a change.
The bravado and talk of the offense turning it around wasn't backed up in London before Smith and company earned a respite with a huge game against the Texans. Arthur has a strong personality one that at times can work to the team's detriment.
It isn't Desmond who is calling predictable routes causing the defense to sit at the line of scrimmage in run support and force Ridder into tight window throws. It wasn't Desmond on Sunday that showed up another Falcon not once but twice.
Smith's reactions on the sideline to both of Ridder's picks are completely understandable and completely unprofessional. That is your quarterback what if Desmond had done that to one of his receivers or a leader on defense and let his emotions spill over toward Ridder?
That would be the story of this week and covered in a far different manner than what we will cover Smith's reactions at Ridder's mistakes. The drives were frustrating and the way they ended were inexcusable but Smith is supposed to be the adult in the room.
The architect of the offense and what makes Atlanta's run game so unstoppable. Thus far Smith has failed to live up to expectations while Ryan Nielsen and Jerry Gray have the defense clicking and giving the Falcons a chance to win every game.
Ridder's play hasn't been acceptable but don't be fooled Arthur Smith's attitude, play calling, and thus far his inability to adjust are hurting the team just as badly. This is the quarterback that Smith spent all off-season preaching belief in.
Match your words to your sideline play calling and attitude even in frustrating circumstances. Ridder has been a problem at times for Atlanta but isn't the only one to blame or the one with the best chance to turn this team around.