In an article dated October 26, 2023, it’s acknowledged that two contradictory aspects of Desmond Ridder’s recent performance should be recognized. First, his six turnovers in the past two weeks are inexcusable and significantly reduce the margin for error. However, the third-round draft pick also had an impressive passing performance against the Buccaneers, culminating in a game-winning drive that placed the Falcons at the top of their division.
Fans of the Falcons must come to terms with the inconsistent nature of having a young quarterback like Ridder. He is still learning on the job, and it’s expected that there will be more ups and downs in his play.
Looking at Ridder’s recent performance, it reflects the kind of quarterback Atlanta currently has. He delivered his best performance so far against the Texans, achieving career-best statistics and securing a victory over the Offensive Rookie of the Year frontrunner, C.J. Stroud. This gave fans hope that he could potentially be the long-term solution the Falcons have been seeking since Matt Ryan. However, he followed this success with a three-interception game against the Commanders, leaving many to believe that Atlanta should have won that contest.
Despite numerous opportunities provided by the defense to tie or win games, Ridder’s turnovers, including a goal line interception, proved costly. Nevertheless, he bounced back in the following week with what can be described as the best passing performance of his career. This occurred against the Buccaneers, who had a more formidable defense than the Texans, and without his key weapon, Bijan Robinson. Ridder showcased a 91% adjusted completion rate (excluding drops) with an average depth of target of 8.2 yards and 10 yards per attempt.
The article emphasizes that it’s possible for two contradictory aspects to be true at the same time. While Ridder’s performance in Week 7 against Tampa Bay was promising, showing control of the offense, composure, and the ability to capitalize on the defense’s offerings, he still exhibited carelessness with the football. Specifically, his three fumbles in the red zone typically lead to losses, but the Falcons managed to win despite this, making them the first team to do so since the 2004 Cardinals.
Ridder’s propensity for turnovers is noted, with him leading the league in turnover-worthy plays and being second in turnover-worth play rate. This trend has persisted throughout the season. Although turnovers have hindered the offense, Ridder’s improvements are undeniable, illustrating the complexity of evaluating quarterback play in the NFL. The article concludes by suggesting that Falcons fans should prepare for more fluctuations as Ridder is unlikely to be benched.