Taylor Heinicke took over for Desmond Ridder as the starting quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons in week 8. I think we can all agree that he gave this offense a much-needed spark but then they looked flat in week 9.
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To put it clearly, Heinicke played awful in his first start as a Falcon. He missed throws and missed wide-open receivers and that has now culminated into him already playing for his job in his second start.
Falcons will bench Taylor Heinicke if he doesn't improve against the Cardinals
The Atlanta Falcons are staring at a 14-day layoff after their matchup with the Arizona Cardinals. It feels as though the week 11 bye is coming at a perfect point in the season and is the precursor to the biggest game of the year for the NFC South—Saints at Falcons.
The Falcons currently have their trust in a journeyman quarterback, Taylor Heinicke. While Heinicke played quite well in his debut with the Falcons, he went in the exact opposite direction in his first start.
Heinicke missed a handful of throws and routinely missed wide-open receivers. His performance was bad... like really, really bad...
For example, here are three screenshots of three-straight passing plays before the first half expired where Heinicke had Kyle Pitts open and didn't throw it to him. These are throws you have to see and make.
That is just a small glimpse of some of the issues Heinicke had.
I want to see Heinicke succeed, but I have to tell it like it is; Desmond Ridder will/should be the starting quarterback again if Heinicke has a similar performance. I stand by that even if the Falcons win.
Quite honestly, there is a slight chance that it could spell the end of his career if he doesn't improve.
I get it, he doesn't have much chemistry with his teammates but those three passes are ones that you have to pull the trigger on and complete. Pitts was the best receiver on the field so he should be your main focus. Those were also simple routes; a dig route, a crosser, and a seam route, three routes Heinicke has thrown his entire life.
It will be interesting to see whether that game was just an anomaly or if that is how he is going to play. Arthur Smith said he will evaluate the position during the bye week and that could ultimately result in Ridder starting in a pivotal game against New Orleans.