Desmond Ridder

Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons

Desmond Ridder News

Leads team to Week 18 win

Ridder completed 19 of 30 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns during Sunday's 30-17 win over Tampa Bay.

Analysis: Ridder wasn't overly prolific or efficient, but he avoided turnovers and made plays when he needed to. He had a strong connection with Drake London, who finished with a career-high 120 receiving yards, but Ridder's touchdown passes went to Olamide Zaccheaus and MyCole Pruitt. It was Atlanta's first win with Ridder under center and is certainly an encouraging performance to build off of going into the offseason. However, the Falcons are likely still going to be in the market for a quarterback this offseason, leaving Ridder's future unclear.

Jan 8, 2023 2:01 PM EST

Orchestrates game-winning drive

Ridder completed 19 of 26 passes for 169 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in Sunday's 20-19 win over the Cardinals. He added four rushes for nine yards.

Analysis: Ridder has still yet to throw a touchdown through three career starts, though he's reached 6.5 yards per attempt in each of his last two games. He did very little early in Sunday's win, though he led a game-winning drive in the final moments of the fourth quarter during which he went 3-for-3 for 31 yards to help get the team in field-goal range. Though the Falcons have remained a run-focused offense, Ridder has shown a baseline ability to run the offense in the first few starts of his career.

Jan 1, 2023 8:32 PM EST

More efficient in loss to Ravens

Ridder completed 22 of 33 passes for 218 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions in Saturday's 17-9 loss to Baltimore.

Analysis: He added eight rushing yards on four carries. The young QB was much more efficient than he was last week in his NFL debut and showed great chemistry with fellow rookie Drake London, who accounted for 96 of his 218 passing yards, but Ridder still failed to produce a TD, just as he did against the Saints. The 2022 third-round pick will have two more chances to complete his first career touchdown pass before the end of the season -- next week against the Cardinals and in Week 18 against the Buccaneers, both home games for the Falcons.

Dec 24, 2022 2:26 PM EST

Underwhelming debut

Ridder completed 13 of 26 passes for 97 yards and rushed six times for 38 yards during Sunday's 21-18 loss to the Saints.

Analysis: Ridder completed just half of his pass attempts and had an interception overturned to start the second half, resulting in an extremely disappointing debut through the air. However, the rookie third-round pick attempted to salvage his offensive production by showcasing his dual-threat ability. Overall, there wasn't much to take away from Ridder's performance, but the lone bright spot was the connection he appeared to have with fellow rookie Drake London, as the duo connected seven times (11 targets) for 70 yards. With Marcus Mariota (knee) out for the remainder of the regular season, Ridder should continue drawing starts, regardless of his performance.

Dec 18, 2022 1:56 PM EST

Locked in to start rest of season

Head coach Arthur Smith confirmed Monday that Ridder will take over as Atlanta's starting quarterback beginning with Sunday's game in New Orleans, Tori McElhaney of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported during the Falcons' Week 14 bye that Ridder was in line to make his NFL debut Week 15, but it wasn't until Smith spoke to the media Monday before the team confirmed as much. Ridder will be displacing Marcus Mariota, who started the team's first 13 games before being placed on injured reserve Wednesday due to a knee injury that will require surgery, according to Michael Rothstein of The Falcons signed Logan Woodside off the Titans' practice squad over the weekend to add depth at quarterback, but he's not expected to seriously challenge Ridder for the starting job over the final four weeks of the season, barring an injury to the rookie. Ridder didn't play at any point before the bye week, but he showcased a dual-threat skill set in the preseason, completing 34 of 56 pass attempts for 431 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions while carrying eight times for 58 yards across three appearances.

Dec 14, 2022 10:16 AM EST

Set to take over as starter

The Falcons plan to install Ridder as their new starting quarterback after their Week 14 bye, with the rookie set to make his NFL debut in the team's Dec. 18 game in New Orleans, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: The shakeup at quarterback comes after the Falcons dropped four of their last five games heading into the bye week, with incumbent starter Marcus Mariota having completed 59 percent of his throws for 6.5 yards per attempt and a 5:3 TD:INT over that stretch. Ridder, a third-round pick out of Cincinnati, possesses a dual-threat skill set like Mariota, and Atlanta is hoping that his insertion as the new starter can help jumpstart an offense that ranks in the bottom five in the NFL in points per game. Ridder hasn't seen any action in relief of Mariota this season, but he showed promise in the preseason. In three exhibition contests, he completed 34 of 56 attempts (60.7 percent) for 431 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions while carrying eight times for 58 yards.

Dec 8, 2022 7:51 AM EST

Starting chance not imminent

Ridder isn't expected to receive an opportunity to displace incumbent Marcus Mariota as the Falcons' starting quarterback so long as Atlanta remains in playoff contention, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: After the Atlanta offense floundered in consecutive losses to the Chargers and Panthers, Mariota's job status has come into question. Even though Mariota has completed just 61.9 percent of his attempts and has cleared 200 passing yards on only three occasions this season, he's amassed 347 yards on the ground and has accounted for 15 touchdowns to help keep the Falcons reasonably competitive. Even though Atlanta enters Sunday's matchup with the Bears sitting on a 4-6 record, the Falcons are just one game out of first place in the NFC South, so head coach Arthur Smith will continue to stick with the veteran quarterback for the time being rather than getting an early evaluation on Ridder, a rookie third-round pick out of Cincinnati. Like Mariota, Ridder, who has yet to make his NFL regular-season debut, offers some upside as a runner that would presumably allow Atlanta to run a similar offense if Smith opts for a change at quarterback later this season. Ridder acquitted himself reasonably well in three preseason appearances, completing 34 of 56 attempts (60.7 percent) for 431 yards (7.7 YPA), three touchdowns and two interceptions while carrying eight times for 58 yards.

Nov 20, 2022 6:35 AM EST

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