Falcons fans are done with Desmond Ridder after just four games, and it’s hard to fault them.
This is maybe the best defense this club has had in my lifetime, and the offense is among the least effective in all of football. Ridder is clearly holding this team back, but is it really fair to bench him after four games? It might be even less fair to the rest of the 52 players on the team.
I’m glad it’s not my decision to make because it’s a difficult one.
If the Falcons bench Ridder, it will effectively end his bid to ever be a starting quarterback for the team. Then again, the division is very winnable. Is Arthur Smith going to stick with Ridder, despite a playoff berth on the line?
Well, that’s for the team’s leadership to decide. One thing I can absolutely guarantee won’t happen is an outsider taking the reins if Ridder is benched.
I have seen fans and analysts mention the Falcons as landing spots for Ryan Tannehill, Kirk Cousins, and Justin Fields as if learning an offense happens overnight. I don’t care if Tannehill is familiar with Arthur Smith’s system or if Cousins is a veteran.
That’s one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. How easy do you think playing quarterback is in this league? It’s the hardest thing to do in all of sports. There’s no scenario where the Falcons would trade for a quarterback because it would be unrealistic to expect that player to come in and run Arthur Smith’s offense effectively.
Moreover, there’s a veteran under contract who is capable of providing a jolt of energy to this offense — Taylor Heinicke. He went toe-to-toe with Tom Brady in the postseason and is one of the most expensive backups in football.
If Arthur Smith turns away from Desmond Ridder, it will be to bring Taylor Heinicke off the bench. The Falcons will not be acquiring one of Justin Fields, Ryan Tannehill, Kirk Cousins, or any free agent, including Matt Ryan.