The Falcons might have the best defense of my lifetime, while Desmond Ridder and the offense continue to do their best to lose games.
Ridder finished Sunday completing 19 of 31 for 191 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, including a pick-six and a game-ending lost fumble. He’s very clearly holding this team back.
The Jaguars scored 23 points, but the defense only surrendered one touchdown. Over the last two weeks, the Falcons offense has mustered only 13 points, while being outscored by 30 points in that span.
The defense isn’t the problem. They rank in the top 10 of points (19.3 per game), yards (290.8 per game), and third down conversion rate (33%). Ryan Nielsen’s unit also ranks in the top 10 of pressure rate (23%), even though they’ve only logged five sacks.
The Falcons are wasting one of the best defenses of my life with Ridder under center, but he still has the support of his teammates.
“That’s my boy,” Drake London said. “I’m not going to ever give up on him. At the end of the day, whatever happens, happen. We’re going to go out there and keep on fighting.”
“Surprisingly, he’s one of the guys on the sidelines still telling guys ‘Let’s go.’ Really rare to see out of a young quarterback,” Jonnu Smith said. “I don’t have to say much. It’s so easy when things are going well – of course you want laughing and smiles, but when things hit the fan, you find out who that man really is.”
For a veteran to say that, Ridder clearly has the respect of the locker room, but how long will that loyalty last with his play on the field? I’m not sure, but Arthur Smith better recognize the playoff-caliber defense he has and make some changes to kickstart this offense.