Following the Falcons’ Week 3 loss to the Lions, nobody was quite sure who to blame for the offense’s shortcomings.
The offensive line was a turnstile, and Arthur Smith’s play calling left a lot to be desired. Desmond Ridder also looked horrendous in most facets of the game.
However, after the Falcons pathetic offensive performance in London, there is no confusion about the single biggest factor in Atlanta’s struggles — quarterback play.
Ridder had two egregious interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, despite the defense doing its absolute best to keep the game close. He missed reads, pass catchers, and blitzes. There were no redeeming moments, outside of a beautiful back shoulder touchdown to Drake London.
The offense continued its slow starts, playing from behind, which isn’t conducive to winning football for a team that wants to run the ball and control the clock. Despite Desmond Ridder’s piss poor performance, his head coach continues to make excuses.
“if Desmond (Ridder) doesn’t go out there and do what he did (in the second half in London), then you feel different,” Arthur Smith said.
Let me see if I’m understanding this. Because he was better in the second half than the first, we feel good. Well, I’m glad he was better in the second half because it was one of the worst first half performances I have ever seen.
Moreover, are we going to ignore the soft coverage the Jaguars were playing when Ridder accumulated most of his stats? Garbage time shouldn’t be used to defend your belief in your quarterback. That’s bogus, but it is not even my biggest gripe.
The biggest problem I have with Desmond Ridder is the lack of development. The only thing you can’t do as a rookie quarterback is maintain. He’s not making plays and is putting the ball in harm’s way, but if he just improved each outing, you could overlook those mistakes. He’s improved marginally, if at all through eight starts.
Unfortunately, his head coach continues to go to bat for him in press conferences. Maybe you don’t want Arthur Smith throwing Ridder under the bus to the media. That makes sense. But let’s not sugarcoat things either.
Desmond Ridder has to be better.
Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire