The Falcons had multiple chances to pull the game within a two-point conversion on Sunday, but Desmond Ridder’s interceptions ultimately cost them the game. The Commanders didn’t do anything game-wrecking; Ridder just made too many mistakes.
It was a bag of mixed results because there was a lot of good. The opening drive, in particular, Ridder and the offense were excellent. He completed 5-of-6 passes for 65 yards, capping the best opening drive of the season with a touchdown to Kyle Pitts. Nothing materialized in the first half outside of a field, but the second half is when things get very tumultuous.
To open the third quarter, Desmond Ridder threw the first of his three interceptions. After another punt, the Falcons drove the length of the field and scored a touchdown to bring it within one score. Ridder went 4-of-6 for 39 yards and a touchdown.
On the subsequent drive, Ridder and the rushing attack drove the length of the field only to stall within the five-yard line. A penalty backed up the offense, and then Ridder made the worst interception of the three.
In the face of a Commanders pressure, he left his feet in an improvised reaction to throw it up to Drake London, only for it to be picked off in the endzone. It was Atlanta’s best chance at bringing the game within a two-point conversion, but Ridder’s inexperience shined through.
At least he recognizes his shortcomings. During Wednesday’s press conference, Ridder acknowledged how bad things happen when he plays outside of the system.
Desmond Ridder said he gets in trouble when he tries to do too much, "playing outside of the play." He said he finds success when he simply takes what the defense gives him and not trying to predict what COULD happen, but what IS happening.
— Tori McElhaney (@tori_mcelhaney) October 18, 2023
It seems pretty simple. Good things happen when Ridder doesn’t try and do too much. Take what the defense gives you and play for another down; don’t try to be a hero. Hopefully, he doesn’t make the same mistake twice.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire