The Falcons are looking for fresh blood for a key position in American football. Rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder is expected to get four games to prove what a future he can have in Atlanta.
The interim solution and the future? Marcus Mariota (left) and Desmond Ridder.
Matt Ryan’s 14-year streak was followed by signing Raiders backup Marcus Mariota and drafting third-round pick Desmond Ridder in Atlanta. After Mariota has convinced at times but stumbled, especially in the last two games against Washington and Pittsburgh, a changing of the guard is now imminent.
At least that’s what NFL insiders Ian Rappoport (NFL Network) and Michael Rothstein (ESPN) are reporting, citing sources. Ridder, 23 years old and with the University of Cincinnati before turning pro, can now reveal whether he is a long-term solution for the Georgia franchise and whether the search for a clear-cut starting quarterback will continue in Atlanta.
Despite and because of Mariota with a 5: 8 balance
In the NFC South, the Falcons have five wins and eight losses, partly because of and partly despite Mariota, which currently means second place in the overall weakening division. With Tampa Bay (6-6) currently holding a clear lead, head coach Arthur Smith seems to have lost his playoff hopes a little.
The gaze goes into the future. And it is called, first of all: Desmond Ridder. Next weekend the “Dirty Birds” have a bye week. The rookie will then face Atlanta’s longtime rivals the New Orleans Saints, the Baltimore Ravens, the Arizona Cardinals and, in Week 18, the aforementioned Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And who knows, if Ridder convinces everyone from the start, there might still be a playoff chance.