Jessie Bates III highlights what Desmond Ridder did well vs. Panthers

NFL: SEP 10 Panthers at Falcons

There was a lot to take away from the Falcons season opener against the Panthers.

Bijan Robinson has come as advertised, scoring the club’s first touchdown of the season in an impressive display of his skill set.

Jessie Bates III had one of the greatest Falcons debuts maybe ever. He logged a pair of interceptions to go with a forced fumble and double-digit tackles.

However, there were some things that needed to be cleaned up. The Falcons offensive and defensive lines have to be better, particularly in the passing game.

Atlanta’s offensive line was too porous, and the defensive front wasn’t as impactful as I expected. The passing game as a whole was sloppy and ineffective for the most part.

It should get cleaned up, but fans griping about Desmond Ridder‘s performance are grasping at straws. If you expected him to come out and throw for 400 yards and three scores on a 75% completion rate, it’s your fault.

Sure, it would’ve been nice to see him push the ball down the field more, but what’s important is that he didn’t turn the ball over, which Bryce Young couldn’t do. The offense doesn’t need Desmond Ridder to be a hero, just a game manager.

Despite the less-than-stellar start, his teammates still have his back. As Jessie Bates points out, the Falcons quarterback made a play late in the fourth quarter that led to a touchdown and effectively sealed the game without turning the ball over. That’s winning football.

Bates not only made his presence felt on the field but also in the locker room. He’s a home run free agent signing who is voicing his support for Desmond Ridder. It’s expected, but still great to see.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
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