Sunday, February 25, 2024

6-8 Falcons flip flop back to Heinicke

Falcons HC Arthur Smith had said he didn’t want to be constantly switching between quarterbacks, but that’s exactly where we are heading into week 16.

Desmond Ridder certainly didn’t make things easy for Smith, throwing an interception in the end zone on Sunday that wouldn’t likely sewn up a win over the Panthers with 7:35 remaining. But make no mistake about it, the Falcons were bad all round, managing just 52 yards on 31 rushes, and Ridder himself turning the ball over twice.

But Smith had spoken of the perils of flip-flopping on QB’s week ago. “That’s usually not a great situation to have,” Smith had said. “You want to be fair and objective and obviously give people an opportunity. It was a belief in him, no matter what happens. It doesn’t mean anybody’s career is over, but we have to do what’s best for this team right now.”


But second year QB Desmond Ridder thought the learning curve seemed to be going ok.

“Obviously, I’ve had my ups and downs,” Ridder said recently. “I’ve been able to go out there and play good games and then, obviously throughout the games, there’s one or two plays in each game where something goes wrong or there’s a mistake. But then it’s how do you respond? And I feel like every time a mistake has happened, I’ve responded the right way.”

But when push came to shove the Falcons HC has clearly decided he needs to win out to keep his job, and with a playoff spot still a possibility for the Falcons it’s hard to argue with him.

However, the long term damage to Ridder is likely to mean that one way or another the Falcons will be in the hunt for a new QB again next season. And maybe a new head coach as well.

Atlanta FalconsCarolina Panthers
1st Downs1217
Passing 1st downs87
Rushing 1st downs38
1st downs from penalties12
3rd down efficiency6-135-15
4th down efficiency0-10-2
Total Plays5163
Total Yards204283
Total Drives1010
Yards per Play4.04.5
Yards per pass7.65.7
Interceptions thrown10
Sacks-Yards Lost0-03-13
Rushing Attempts3136
Yards per rush1.73.6
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-20-3
Fumbles lost10
Interceptions thrown10
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

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