Time for Falcons to ‘Start Ramping Up’ Backup QB, Says Insider


Getty Desmond Ridder #4 and Marcus Mariota #1 of the Atlanta Falcons.

Following a disappointing 25-15 loss to the Carolina Panthers in Primetime, many fans, including critics, have seen enough of Atlanta Falcons starting quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Of those critics is NFL insider and analyst, Jason La Canfora of The Washington Post.

In a recent piece by La Canfora, he questioned the Falcons’ current QB situation and explained why it’s time to move on from Mariota if they plan on being a franchise contender again.

“If, in fact, the task was to reposition the franchise to be a contender again, to identify a quarterback of the future and start playing attractive, modern football, they seem to be wasting time rather than catching up with the pack,” La Canfora wrote.

It’s Time to Start the Rookie, Per La Canfora & More

With seven more games to play and a 4-6 record, La Canfora believes it’s time to see what the rookie quarterback can do, sooner rather than later.

“America got to see just what a stilted product this Falcons offense is Thursday night in a brutal outing against Carolina, and this seems as good a time as any to start ramping up rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder to see what impact he can make, if any,” he wrote.

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

La Canfora also addressed Mariota’s poor decision making and lack of playmaking.

“Some executives, including several whose teams have gone through a transition to a rookie quarterback recently, are baffled what Atlanta is waiting for, with Marcus Mariota’s decision-making and playmaking ability limited, the Falcons averaging only 23.1 pass attempts a game with the pedestrian journeyman and whatever faint hopes they had for this season fading away during a 2-4 slide, during which they failed to top 17 points four times.”

With the 2023 draft stacked with talented quarterbacks, it could be good to see what the Falcosn have in Ridder, but head coach Arthur Smith believes otherwise.

 ‘QB Situation? What QB Situation’

Falcons head coach Arthur Smith doesn’t plan on blindsiding the public with a quarterback change anytime soon.

“If we were going to make a change, I’d tell you,” Smith said on Monday, November 14, via Tori McElhaney of the Falcons’ official website. “You’d see it at practice.”

In Fact, he doesn’t see even any problem with their current QB situation.

“There is no situation. There was never a situation, ever. Never,” he said.

“… You lose two games in five days and everybody wants to panic, but we’re right in the middle of it. We’re not where we want to be but the reality of it is that you’re right in the middle of a playoff race.”

Through 10 weeks, Mariota has completed 62 percent of his passes this season for 1,747 yards and 12 touchdowns to seven interceptions. He’s also added 347 yards and three scores on the ground.

Those are not exactly Pro Bowl numbers, but they have somehow been good enough to keep the Falcons in a playoff race.

Smith also emphasized that Mariota isn’t the only person to blame as football is a team effort.

“There are a couple plays where you can certainly put the blame on him. But there’s blame to go around operationally,” Smith said. “If there’s pressure right there, I don’t know what to tell the quarterback when he’s looking down to pick the ball up because it’s a low snap, he gets up and there’s a defender right in his face. That’s kind of hard to overcome there. It’s the little things that add up to it that we can do better, and we have at times. I wouldn’t pinpoint just on one player.”

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