Desmond Ridder to take over as Atlanta Falcons starting QB

By Adam Burke  ( 

December 8, 2022 10:07 AM

Ridder was third-round pick by Falcons in 2022 NFL Draft

The Atlanta Falcons are on their bye week, but that hasn’t stopped them from making a huge decision that could greatly impact the 2022 season and beyond. Desmond Ridder will take the reins from Marcus Mariota and be the starting quarterback moving forward.

The Falcons are 1.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the top spot in the NFC South with this week’s game pending against the 49ers for Tom Brady’s team. The Falcons play the Buccaneers in Week 18, so we’ll see if that game matters for the division title.

Desmond Ridder stats

Well, there aren’t any in the NFL because he hasn’t played in the regular season as of yet. Ridder was 34-of-56 for 431 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in the preseason. He also ran eight times for 58 yards in three games with one start.

As a four-year starter at Cincinnati, Ridder posted an 87/28 TD/INT ratio. He threw for over 10,000 yards and rushed for nearly 2,200 more. The dual-threat nature that Ridder possesses will slot right into what the Falcons do offensively with a heavy focus on the run. 

Marcus Mariota didn’t play badly at all in his 13 games as the starter, posting a 15/8 TD/INT ratio with 2,219 yards and a 61.3% completion rate. He is also the team’s third-leading rusher with 85 attempts and 438 yards on the ground.

Atlanta Falcons Odds

  • Super Bowl: +40000
  • NFC winner: +20000
  • NFC South winner: +1100
  • Regular season win total: 6.5 (-110/-110)
  • To Make the Playoffs (Yes/No): +1100/-2500

Obviously the only path into the postseason for Atlanta is to win the NFC South, so it makes sense that the division odds and the ‘Make the Playoffs’ odds are the same. However, be sure to check at your particular sportsbook because sometimes mistakes are made if you think that the Falcons are going to get some help from the Bucs’ opponents and also improve with Ridder.

Atlanta Falcons schedule

  • Week 15: at New Orleans Saints
  • Week 16: at Baltimore Ravens
  • Week 17: Arizona Cardinals
  • Week 18: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

As mentioned, the Falcons are on the bye this week, so Ridder gets this week to keep studying film and then a week’s worth of practice reps with the starters.

If nothing else, the Falcons are getting four games worth of data (barring injury) on Ridder to see what kinds of decisions they need to make for next season. The NFC South is very much there for the taking with Brady aging and no dominant team in the division. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense for the Falcons to keep pushing forward this season, while also thinking about the future. Mariota was always going to be a stopgap. Whether or not Ridder can be a weekly NFL starter remains to be seen.

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