QB future of the Atlanta Falcons remains cloudy at best

NFL: OCT 15 Commanders at Falcons

Thus far, the Falcons haven’t had as successful of a season as many fans had hoped, but after a win over the Saints on Sunday, the club sits atop the division.

Atlanta won on the back of its rushing attack and critical plays from the defense, which has always been the formula of success for Arthur Smith’s team. The Falcons put up nearly 230 yards on the ground, while Jessie Bates III forced a pair of turnovers, including a pick-six.

In his first start since being benched, Desmond Ridder had another forgettable performance. He had several critical plays that extended drives, but the entire body of work was still less than desirable. Ridder finished with 168 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions on 13-of-21 passing.

Though the Falcons won and sit in the driver’s seat of the NFC South with the postseason in their sights, the state of the quarterback position hasn’t changed. It’s still well below average and hardly serviceable.

In a piece evaluating each team’s signal caller situation, The Athletic deemed the Falcons and Ridder to be in the “Clock is Ticking” tier, which I would describe as generous.

There are things to like about our guy, but the remainder of this season could swing the evaluation.

Signed Thru: 2025 | APY Rank: 57 | QB EPA Rank: 26

The Falcons took a big risk thinking Ridder could be their starter this season. It would be malpractice for them to make the same bet again, unless Ridder fares much better down the stretch. The team committing to him as its starter from this point forward gives Ridder a chance, at least.

I don’t know how Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot can watch Desmond Ridder and consider him a potential franchise quarterback. He does some very good things, but he’s clearly limiting the ceiling of this football team.

Ridder turned the ball over two more times on Sunday, marking his seventh and eighth interceptions of the season to only seven touchdowns. Moreover, he’s fumbled the ball seven times this season. Nothing has changed, even in a Falcons win.

We give credit where credit is due around here. Desmond Ridder converted several critical third downs that eventually led to touchdowns, but you cannot ignore the pair of interceptions, one of which came in the red zone. Protecting the ball has been a problem all year long, and there haven’t been any tangible improvements.

Regardless of what happens down the stretch, the Falcons need to be in the market for a quarterback this offseason.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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