On paper, the Falcons should be scoring a lot more points than they are right now. Arthur Smith’s offense is bottom four in the league in points per game, which doesn’t make much sense considering the group has enough weapons to arm a small country.
Bijan Robinson, Tyler Allgeier, Cordarrelle Patterson, Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Jonnu Smith with a competent offensive line would make any quarterback weak at the knees. Hell, Tom Brady might come out of retirement for that supporting cast.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t materialized with Desmond Ridder under center.
The Falcons averaged nearly 5.0 yards per rush in 2022, which ranked fourth, so many assumed the influx of Robinson would only elevate the entire offense. That hasn’t been the case because Atlanta has faced the second-most eight-man boxes this season, gaining just 3.6 yards against those fronts, per ESPN.
At the end of the day, Ridder has to beat these loaded boxes with his arm. He’s thrown for 300 yards in back-to-back contests, and outside of an indefensible interception in the endzone against the Commanders, he’s been good enough to win games.
I know that’s a bit ironic to say that he’s been good enough for the Falcons to win games after saying he committed an inexcusable, back-breaking turnover, but it’s the truth. Making mistakes as a young quarterback comes with the territory.
Desmond Ridder has to learn from his mistakes and not make the same ones again. The Falcons need him to show some growth before the club’s bye week. That’s when we could potentially see a change at the position if Atlanta is winning in spite of Ridder. All he has to do is keep the train on the tracks — play within the system, distribute the ball to his playmakers, and protect the football.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire