Fans Call for Falcons to Bench QB Marcus Mariota Following Brutal Loss


Getty Marcus Mariota of the Atlanta Falcons.

Following a 25-15 point loss to the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football, Atlanta Falcons fans have had enough of starting quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Mariota finished the evening completing 19 of 30 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns, along with one interception. Sure, the rainy conditions didn’t help but Carolina’s third-string quarterback P.J. Walker had no problem leading his team to victory.

The Falcons did have a chance to tie it up at the end as Mariota found KhaDarel Hoge for a 25-yard touchdown, but Younghoe Koo missed his second goal of the game and then the Falcons couldn’t get anything going on their final possession.

Atlanta moved to 4-6 on the season, falling into second place behind the Tampa Bay Buccanneers and leaving fans very unpleased with head coach Arthur Smith’s decisions.

Falcons Fans Beg for Desmond Ridder

Is it time for rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder? According to longtime Falcons reporter and insider, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Falcons won’t make the change.

“How many times do we have to tell y’all. He’s not playing until they are out of the hunt. They are developing. They believe Mariota gives them the best chance to win,” Ledbetter wrote in a tweet in response to a fan.

Adding, “But we’ll ask him anyway.”

Despite Ledbetter’s report, fans continued to flood Twitter with team Ridder tweets.

Here is a small sample of a very large pool of what some fans said:

“Falcons need to just bite the bullet and see what Desmond Ridder can do,” a fan wrote.

“Can we bring in Desmond Ridder before Marcus Mariota puts our season down the drain please,” another fan tweeted.

Robert Griffin lll also chimed in with, “Desmond Ridder wouldn’t have thrown that interception.”

“If Desmond Ridder isn’t under center when the Atlanta travels to Chicago then we need to put Arthur Smith under surveillance. This is absurd, man,” added a fan.

“Desmond ridder must be the worst quarterback of all time,” a fan joked. 

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Angry fans tweeted so much that Ridder’s name was trending.

 Arthur Smith Won’t Name Starter

The media did in fact end up asking Arthur Smith in his presser after the game if they thought about putting Ridder in at all, and Smith said, “no.” 

The brutal outcome wasn’t all on Mariota’s as Atlanta’s offensive line allowed five sacks, which could have been even more if Maritota didn’t escape the pocket himself during those situations.

“I know those are popular narratives, those are the easy questions to ask,” Smith said. “But as a whole football team, we’ve got to do a better job, starting with myself. So, we look every week to make sure we’ve got the right guys in the right spots.”

Smith continued to look at the team as a whole when asked if Mariota will be the starter moving forward.

“You can make it about the quarterback, how about the team?” Smith said. “We had an opportunity at the end of the fourth quarter the last two weeks, and a lot of different ways, and a lot of different phases where we’ve got to get better. And we’ve got an opportunity to do that with seven games left.”

Whether it’s benching Mariota or not, the Falcons need to figure out something if they want to keep their playoff dreams alive.


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