This is not the fanpost to bash Marcus Mariota, as he is what we expected; a backup quarterback placed in a starting position as a "placeholder" regardless of what they may claim. What we have seen from Mariota is what differentiates him from a quality starter than can win games or make the playoffs: crucial gaffes and mistakes that can lead to losses, rather than making plays to win games. Sunday was a capsulization of Mariota's career and the reason why he is a journeyman backup.
This is not to say that Mariota is to blame for the mind-numbing loss yet he didn't make a play when he needed to and had crucial mistakes instead. Granted, he is no Brady or Rodgers but neither would have fumbled a snap needing to ice a win nor fumble the ball inside the 20.
One theory concerning the Falcons penchant for losing "98 percent to win" games is that they beleive they will lose and consequently they make the bonehead mistakes to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. To change this mindset there has to be someone leading the team who is not jaded by that belief and can rally the troops behind him.
I beleive that player is Desmond Ridder. Although we have a small sample size, in my opinion he displayed that "IT" factor during the preseason. You could argue that rushing him into action could ruin his psyche yet the counter-argument is that the last thing this team needs is thin-skinned mentalities and weak constitutions. Matt Ryan started from day one and was an icon; Sam Darnold also and is fundamentally a bust. There are no guarantees but its better to know than not know.
If the team is 0-3 after 3 games, which is probable, then its time to declare the future as now with Desmond Ridder.