It is easy to let the Atlanta Falcons' victory over the Houston Texans and Desmond Ridder's strong performance wipe away what we watched the two previous weeks against the Jaguars and Lions. While this is completely understandable recency bias simply cannot be a factor when fully evaluating an NFL quarterback.
The game that Desmond Ridder put together on Sunday cannot be overstated but all it did was prove what he is capable of and buy more time. From Zach Wilson to Mac Jones, we have seen the league's worst quarterback put together strong games.
This isn't to say that RIdder won't maintain this pace or prove to be a long-term starting option. Instead to point out that the body of work still is concerning despite the game we watched on Sunday.
Ridder look every bit the part of a franchise quarterback on Sunday with his first 300-yard game and two clutch drives to take the lead. Drives that would have made Matt Ryan proud supported by a defense the veteran quarterback could only dream of having.
Desmond's game should buy the quarterback 3-4 more games to either prove that this is something he is consistently capable of or that what we saw the first four weeks of the season is closer to reality. In truth, it is hard to know which version of Ridder to expect consistently.
The ability is no doubt there and the fact we now have one complete game proving that is a huge milestone for a quarterback that is yet to start a full season. This start was a huge sign that Arthur Smith and the Falcons are on the right track but it still doesn't explain away the struggles and poor play we watched early on.
Whether or not Desmond is an option by the end of the season will be determined in the next few weeks as we see how the quarterback builds on this game. Do we see the regression we watched against the Lions and Jaguars return or will Ridder continue to find a way to make plays even when things break down?
Atlanta doesn't need Ridder to be a star player or pass for 300 yards every week they simply need the capable point guard that showed up on Sunday and this team will win a lot of games in the 2023 season.