The Marcus Mariota experience in Atlanta has been up and down, but after Thursday night’s performance, is it time to see Desmond Ridder? The Atlanta Falcons are in year two of the Arthur Smith era. To kick off the era, they signed Marcus Mariota, which made sense given their ties to the Titans.
It’s a logical fit for the two. The team also took Desmond Ridder in the 2022 NFL Draft, who compares similarly to Mariota. Again, it appears to be a logical fit. Through 10 games, I’d say that the Falcons are largely outperforming expectations. They are 4-6 and are still in the thick of the NFC South race.
They can still win their division, and heck, could even secured a Wild Card spot. However, it’s clear that even if the Falcons do make the playoffs, they likely won’t go far. The team itself has holes all across their roster. It’s a full scale rebuild, and this became evident once they shipped Matt Ryan off to the Colts.
I think 2024 is a year that Falcons’ fans should be looking towards. However, at some point, the team will have to see what they have in Desmond Ridder. Given their situation now, it might make sense to pull the plug on Marcus Mariota, who hasn’t played super well this season, but has performed based on prior seasons.
He has 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions on the season for a 89.9 passer rating. His passer rating was 89.5 for his career before the 2022 season. His errors this season, including a terrible interception last night, give credence to the idea that maybe is it time for the rookie Ridder, who seems to be more athletic and dynamic than Mariota.
Even though Desmond Ridder was a mid-round bit, that doesn’t mean he should be treated differently than a quarterback taken higher. It is time to see what the Atlanta Falcons have in the player. If it goes well, then they have their QB of the future, but if it doesn’t they’ll get a high draft pick.