Falcons should bench Marcus Mariota in favor of Desmond Ridder now
The Atlanta Falcons should bench Marcus Mariota in favor of Desmond Ridder immediately.
After the Thursday evening catastrophe within the Charlottean rain, it was abundantly clear to everybody watching what the Atlanta Falcons should do: Head coach Arthur Smith should bench beginning quarterback Marcus Mariota in favor of third-round rookie Desmond Ridder, efficient instantly.
Whereas it’s comprehensible why Smith went with Mariota for the Thursday Night time Soccer recreation on the Carolina Panthers, all people lastly noticed what Falcons followers have been speaking about all season lengthy: Mariota is just too inherently reckless to be trusted in profitable time. Ridder could be very inexperienced, however Mariota’s terrible play of late has pressured Smith’s fingers to present him an actual beginning alternative.
Atlanta can have 10 days to arrange earlier than the lowly Chicago Bears come to city subsequent Sunday.
Arthur Smith mentioned he didn’t think about going to Desmond Ridder in any respect tonight for the Falcons.
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) November 11, 2022
Atlanta Falcons should bench Marcus Mariota and begin Desmond Ridder already
Earlier than we get into why it’s time for Atlanta to bench Mariota, let’s get into why he’s beginning within the first place. Effectively, he performed for Smith two stops in the past once they had been with the Tennessee Titans. Mariota will not be devoid of expertise. He gained the Heisman Trophy and went No. 2 total to the Titans within the 2015 NFL Draft. Nevertheless, accidents and poor decision-making are what acquired him benched there.
Mariota is at his finest when he can lean on an efficient operating recreation, wherein he can make the most of the play-action or the zone learn. Whereas he could be correct within the short-to-medium passing recreation, he could be particularly erratic off-script, as illustrated by among the nonsense all of us noticed out of him within the Carolina downpour on Thursday. I imply, he tried to throw the ball on his again for Pete’s sake!
Though Mariota is a likable man and a gifted quarterback at that, he’s simply too persistently inconsistent to be a long-term beginning answer wherever. He gave all of it he had within the first half of his first season with the Falcons, however it’s sadly over. Smith might keep in denial over it, however doing so would be the solely method wherein he might conceivably lose his job after two seasons on the helm.
At 4-6, the Falcons are nonetheless very a lot alive to win the horrendous NFC South. The issue with that’s it’s a mirage. The Soiled Birds should not that good of a soccer staff. Have they overachieved this season? Completely, however we have now seen a regression to the imply in latest weeks. The protection is injured and appears an increasing number of just like the Dan Quinn nonsense all of us handled for six seasons.
Sure, getting again cornerbacks A.J. Terrell and Casey Hayward can be completely splendid, however this staff will not be competing for something greater than a one-and-done NFC playoff exit till subsequent season. That’s when the Falcons can lastly be huge spenders in free company. That is when the Soiled Birds could make their true and sincere ascension towards the highest of the lowly NFC South standings.
However even heading into the offseason, Atlanta must know one factor, and one factor solely: Is Ridder a man? That’s the solely factor that issues proper now. The earlier he will get a couple of begins beneath his belt, the higher. Though he might not have a excessive ceiling, he might completely be Atlanta’s model of Dak Prescott or Ryan Tannehill and win a bunch of video games. The perfect half is he can do that cheaply.
Since Ridder will not be a former first-round decide, he’s on a team-friendly, four-year take care of the Soiled Birds. Which means Falcons basic supervisor Terry Fontenot can use the entire further monetary capital on surrounding Ridder with the most effective expertise potential earlier than he approaches any critical second contract discussions. The Seattle Seahawks gained a Super Bowl with Russell Wilson on this method.
Admittedly, saying the Falcons are profitable the NFC at any level within the subsequent 4 years is patently absurd. Nevertheless, what will not be ridiculous is the prospect Ridder could make rudimentary throws to tight finish extraordinaire Kyle Pitts, in addition to rising No. 1 large receiver Drake London, each of whom are first-rounders nonetheless on their rookie contracts. This trio can win the NFC South, possibly proper now?
Whereas Mariota and Ridder have related athletic attributes, it’s Ridder’s management and intangibles that would set him aside. Underrecruited out of Louisville, Ridder went on to develop into the best quarterback in Cincinnati Bearcats’ historical past. Ridder led UC to the School Soccer Playoff out of the Group of 5 in its present four-team format. That ought to by no means, ever, ever occur, but it surely positive did!
Though he has not performed a snap in a recreation that counts this season, Ridder shined in prolonged motion within the preseason. The stage by no means seemed too huge for him, as he performed with the poise and confidence of a quarterback way more seasoned than a third-round rookie. Most significantly, he seemed completely disgusted on the sideline Thursday evening within the loss. We all know he hates to lose…
Might Ridder be the man? Perhaps, however we aren’t going to know for sure till he will get his actual alternative to play. This can be a controversial transfer within the locker room as a result of Mariota is so well-liked, but when he’s the one to interrupt the information to his new teammates like Matt Ryan did as soon as Sam Ehlinger was named the Indianapolis Colts starter over him, they might be taught to dwell with it.
In the end, it was all the time going to return all the way down to Mariota’s play. He had his moments in a Falcons uniform for positive, however now could be time for Smith to tear the band-aid off and see what the child has acquired. If this blows up in Atlanta’s face, this is able to not be the primary time the Falcons have embarrassed themselves. If Ridder stinks, then the Falcons can draft C.J. Stroud or Bryce Younger with confidence.
But when Ridder is the man, then the Falcons can choose a star pass-rusher or an elite defensive again.