The Falcons put up a stinker yesterday against the Lions. The offense never got anything going behind a shaky offensive line with an inaccurate quarterback throwing to pass catchers that couldn’t get separation for the most part.
Detroit played a lot of single high, forcing Atlanta to either run into loaded boxes or let Desmond Ridder beat them through the air, which obviously didn’t work. The Falcons defense did their job for the most part; the talk of this game pertains to Ridder, Arthur Smith, and the offense.
Many were calling for Taylor Heinicke, even if it was a bit satirical, to replace Ridder. Within the organization, it seems there’s no question of who the starting quarterback is for the Falcons.
“He gave us a chance,” Arthur Smith said of Desmond Ridder. “Obviously there’s going to be a couple throws you want back. Clearly, when you lose like that, there’s not a lot to feel great about, and that’s anybody and everybody. It’s going to take all 11 of us.”
It’s clear the head coach isn’t entertaining a quarterback change; in fact, Smith seems to be defending Ridder, but I don’t know why. Yes, the other 10 guys could’ve done a better job, particularly the five up front. However, at the end of the day, Ridder missed open targets late in the game, which eventually cost the Falcons.
Multiple things can be true at once. Arthur Smith didn’t call his best game. Desmond Ridder had a bad game. The offensive line was a turnstile on Sunday. These things culminated in a butt whipping by the Lions.
A silver lining? Desmond Ridder isn’t taking the route some other quarterbacks have around the league — i.e., Justin Fields. Ridder took the blame, despite the offensive line’s dreadful performance.
“I’m not worried about those guys up front,” Ridder said. “Those guys did a great job. I’ve got to get the ball out of my hands quicker, make better reads. All five of those guys, I love those guys. They did good out there. I don’t put it on them, more so myself.”
This Falcons team has a lot to clean up and can’t win in a lot of ways like other clubs, but they’re still a playoff caliber roster with the NFC South in their grips following the Saints collapse to the Packers.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire