The Falcons lost yesterday to the Ravens, which, combined with wins by the Saints and Panthers, eliminated Atlanta from playoff contention. These last two weeks will be dedicated to guys playing for roster spots and starting jobs next season, particularly Desmond Ridder, who is coming off a much better performance in his second start under center.
Ridder completed two-thirds of his passes — up from 50% in his first start — for 218 yards and protected the football, keeping the Falcons in the game for four quarters against a playoff team on the road. At this point in Ridder’s career, progression is all the organization should be looking for, and they saw that on Sunday. I’m excited to see how the Cincinnati product handles the final two weeks of the season, but we haven’t seen anywhere close to enough for the Falcons to proclaim him the starting quarterback next year as well.
After losing six of their last seven games, Atlanta will be in a prime position to draft one of the top quarterbacks in a few months. They are currently projected to pick 7th overall, but they could move up with a little help in front of them.
The Broncos and Rams are both 4-10 and play each other. One of them will be tied with the Falcons after today’s contest. The Cardinals are also 4-10 and play the Bucs today, giving them a chance to move behind the Falcons in the draft order. And finally, the Colts play the Chargers on Monday night. Indianapolis currently sits at 4-9-1 on the season, so a win would also move the Falcons up a spot.
It’s very possible Atlanta is projected to pick inside the top-five following the outcomes of the remaining games in Week 16. That would put them in a tremendous position to upgrade the roster this offseason, given they are also going to have over $80 million in cap space.
Photographer: John Byrum/Icon Sportswire
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