Hello, Falcoholics, and welcome to the results from our Week 18 Reacts survey. Earlier this week, we asked you two questions: How confident are you in the general direction of the Atlanta Falcons, and how would you grade rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder’s first three starts?
Winning is good for the soul, and it’s also good for fan confidence, which spiked up this week. Of the Falcons fans who responded to our survey, 84 percent are confident that Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot have this team headed in the right direction.
One of the biggest questions for the team right now is around the quarterback position, and Falcons fans give rookie Desmond Ridder a B grade after his first three NFL starts.
Forty-one percent of fans give Ridder a C, with just four percent of fans giving him an a, four percent giving him a D, and mercifully, zero percent grading his performance with an F. I think we can split the difference here and give him a grade somewhere in the realm of a B-/C+.
Let’s see what fans had to say about why they graded Ridder’s first three starts the way they did:
Grading him based on the grades of a solid NFL QB, means he got a solid C+ from me. Meaning, he didn’t fail, and could pass as a QB, but has plenty of room for improvement. Game by game grades would tell a more complete story for Ridder:
Game 1: D-
Game 2: D+
Game 3: C+
It’s his trajectory that counts really.
The trajectory does count, and CombatFalcoholic’s week-by-week grades suggest improvement each week, which is exactly what you want to see from a rookie.
I graded him based on what we should expect from a rookie’s first 4 starts. I mean, we can’t grade him compared to a seasoned, successful veteran, nor can we grade him against a QB who is loaded with offensive weapons.
Outside of CP, Ridder’s two best supporting players on the field are also rookies (Allgeier and London). It’s difficult to grade him.
He hasn’t thrown any TDs but hasn’t thrown any picks either. He seems to really settle in as the game progresses. He is smart, poised, in control, throws with confidence, scrambles/escapes the pocket pretty well.
For those reasons, he gets a B from me. A couple of TD passes would earn him an A. A couple of picks would drop him to a C. But he’s not close to a D or F.
I like the mention of Ridder’s poise from FalconFaninMaine, because that’s really stood out to me too, and it’s something that’s not necessarily common from rookies.
I would give him a C+, maybe even a B- for the following reasons:
He’s done what the coaches asked of him and ran the plays/game how the coaches wanted him to run it. They’re not asking him to win it with his arm, regardless of his college play.
Game speed is another level and he appears to be getting comfortable with that game to game.
Physically, he looks sooooo skinny, ala Robert Griffin, and that worries me, but he seems to have good pocket awareness and protects himself when scrambling ... so far. Hard to tell if he has a cannon for an arm at this point ... as well as the “gunslinger” attitude.
OtisCampbellFanClub’s grades are right in there with where most Falcons fans graded Ridder, and he’s right, Ridder’s doing what the coaches are asking him to do, and adjusting to the game speed is huge for rookies. It’s nice to see Ridder coming along in that regard, especially after being on the sidelines for most of the season.
From Crappy Poster:
I really can’t grade Ridder because I don’t think the coaching staff has put him in a position to be too successful. I have rarely seen him throw a pass more than 10 yards, if at all. Because of how the falcons run the ball, he is constantly put in downs where the defense knows he is going to throw.
He seems to be on point with his throws. And I have more confidence watching him than I did Mariota. I can’t really say much more than that. Given his legs, I hope AS and staff will be tweaking the offense in 23 to cater to Ridder’s strengths.
That’s a very thoughtful comment from a guy going by the name of Crappy Poster. I do think — assuming the team does move forward with Ridder as the starter in 2023 — that we’ll see an offense that’s more tailored to his strengths. Plus, getting Kyle Pitts back should make a difference, and I’d assume the team would try to add some more wide receiver talent this offseason.
Do you agree? Disagree? We want to hear what you think — sound off in the comments!