Desmond Ridder's time as the Atlanta Falcons starting quarterback has expired. We do not know what his future holds but, at the very least, he isn't going to start either of the final two games this season, barring injury.
Turnovers were what ruined him in his second season. He struggled back and forth with either throwing interceptions or fumbling the ball. But as we all know, not every turnover is the quarterback's fault, so how many were his fault?
Falcons QB Desmond Ridder was at fault for most of his 16 turnovers
I decided to go back and review all of Desmond Ridder's 16 turnovers (and the five recovered fumbles) to see how many of them were his fault. Well, spoiler alert, the Atlanta Falcons' quarterback was, at fault for most of them, unfortunately.
Quarterbacks aren't always the reason a ball gets intercepted or when he fumbles. Sometimes drops or miscommunications can lead to interceptions, which places fault on the receiver. Or there might be quick pressure that gives the QB zero chance.
For Ridder, he suffered six lost fumbles (and five recovered) and ten interceptions in the 11 and three-fourths games he played. He only had three games without a turnover and one game where he didn't fumble or throw an interception.
Here were his fumbles and turnovers by the week:
- W1: Fumble recovered
- W2: Interception
- W3: Fumble lost
- W4: 2 interceptions, fumble lost
- W6: 3 interceptions
- W7: 3 fumbles lost
- W8: Fumble lost
- W12: 2 interceptions
- W13: Fumble recovered
- W14: Interception, 2 fumbles recovered
- W15: Interception, fumble recovered
Not pretty at all. That is the type of stuff that will land you right where he is right now—the bench.
Of his 16 plays where the ball was turned over, three were 110% his fault, eight were mostly his fault, four were not his fault, and one is unknown.
Of the 21 instances of an INT or fumble, I found four were 110% his fault, 11 were mostly his fault, five were not his fault, and one was unknown.
The ones that I considered to be brutal plays where he made a terrible play were against Washington when he just fluttered a pass into the endzone and it was intercepted, the fumble while crossing the goal against Tampa Bay, a fumble that was recovered against New York were he just botched the snap, and his final play when he just threw the ball right to the Carolina defender.
The plays that were not his fault were a fumble that was recovered on the third snap of the season against Carolina, a lost fumble at the end of the game against Jacksonville in London, the third interception thrown against Washington, the first fumble against Tampa Bay, and his interception in the most recent meeting against Tampa Bay.
My reasoning for each of these was quick pressure on the fumbles against Jacksonville and Tampa Bay, pressure and a blitzing player up the middle which didn't allow Ridder to step up in the pocket against Carolina, a missed holding call that allowed the defender to sling himself in front of Bijan against Washington, and a great play by the defender on the interception against Tampa Bay, plus it was a screen pass where you aren't making reads.
The unknown play was the botched snap against Tampa Bay in week seven on the one-yard line. There are no camera angles that show if the snap was too low or if Ridder just dropped it.
I know it is a lot of explaining but I figured I would give the reasoning for each so that I don't get blasted by everyone. I aired on the side of blaming the quarterback. For example, I blamed him for the interception right before halftime against the Saints even though it was a confusing play call. It looked like Bijan was settling down and not running into the linebacker and Ridder didn't read it right. But we also have no idea what the truth is.
16 turnovers are never a good thing. In this instance, they are a very bad thing because almost all of them lie on the shoulders of the quarterback. There weren't any of your typical Kansas City Chiefs drops leading to an interception. Simply put, it was not a banner year for the second-year quarterback.
However, his career is not over; I won't even say it isn't over with the Atlanta Falcons. Players can develop and people are forgetting that. Yes, the odds are stacked against him but that doesn't mean it won't happen. He is a stubborn player who is going to work hard to improve himself.