Atlanta outgained Washington 402-193 but still lost by eight points.
Ridder’s three interceptions are mostly to blame. He’s not the conservative, game manager the Falcons need him to be. Many touted his ability to protect the ball as one of the few desirable attributes. However, he’s been anything but through six games this season.
Smith must shoulder a portion of the blame too, though. Whether it’s questionable play calls, operational dysfunction, or decision-making woes, this was one of the worst coached games I have seen from Arthur Smith.
The defense uncharacteristically surrendered 17 first-half points, but Ryan Nielsen’s unit buckled down in the second half, forcing countless three-and-outs to give the offense a multitude of chances to get back in the game.
It’s become the identity of this Falcons team. The defense does enough to win the game, but the offense holds them back. Desmond Ridder is certainly the primary catalyst in the offensive shortcomings; however, blaming it all on him is disingenuous. Arthur Smith is to blame as well.
Without looking at the final score, the box score would tell you that the Falcons won this game easily. Atlanta outgained Washington, out-converted them, and had more red zone opportunities than their opponents. When you turn the ball over three times, it’s really hard to win in this league.
I fully expect the Falcons to stick with Desmond Ridder under center because Arthur Smith has clearly hitched his wagon to the third-round pick.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire