The big storyline out of London this week was the poor play of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder. He really struggled throughout the first half against the Jaguars, throwing two interceptions on consecutive plays, but then he settled things down in the second half.
And he did more than just settle things down, he actually played really well and showed the flashes that Arthur Smith and the Atlanta Falcons see in him.
Atlanta Falcons should be happy with Desmond Ridder's second half performance
I feel like I am beating a dead horse but the biggest issue Desmond Ridder has faced throughout his young career in the NFL is getting into a rhythm early on and just starting fast. It is the reason the Atlanta Falcons have only scored three points in the first quarter this year.
Obviously, that is a big problem, there is no sugarcoating it. Starting fast, especially for this offense, is imperative in the NFL.
However, if you want some positives then look at how Ridder performed in the second half last Sunday.
Ridder and his offense opened the second half by marching right down the field for a touchdown. Ridder had a perfectly placed pass to KhaDarel Hodge's outside shoulder on third down and then followed it up a couple of plays later by throwing an excellent pass to the big-bodied Drake London.
That single drive was a microcosm of what this offense should be. They were able to run the ball, they converted on third down, and then Ridder threw a pass that allowed Drake London to use his size for an impressive touchdown. It was execution without the mistakes.
The offense did not get another point for the rest of the game, which certainly looks bad, but Ridder did play great in the second half.
One that really caught my eye was on the fourth down where London was pushed out of bounds by the defender. It was a failed conversion but Ridder threw a dime to London with a defender right in his face. He gave his receiver a chance with a great throw on a have-to-have-it play. London had plenty of room to get his feet down but the defender played it perfectly by pushing him out of bounds.
As ugly as the first half was for the Falcons quarterback, it was impressive to see him shake everything off and perform like he should in the second half. If Ridder can start games faster then this offense is in good hands, I truly believe that.