The Atlanta Falcons posted their second straight game with 400 offensive yards in Week 6. But as the cliché goes, stats can be misleading.
In many ways, the Falcons offense took a step backwards against the Washington Commanders on Sunday. The unit averaged only 3.7 yards per rush and converted only 33.3% of its third-down opportunities. The Falcons also turned the ball over 3 times.
All three of those turnovers were quarterback Desmond Ridder interceptions.
If it hasn’t been one issue, it’s been something else troubling the Falcons offense. They have committed multiple giveaways in three straight games.
In the first three weeks of the season, the Falcons had zero or one turnover. But, they failed to reach 225 yards of offense in two of those contests.
Through six weeks, the Falcons are 18th in passing yards and tied for seventh in giveaways. Those struggles point back to Ridder, but Falcons owner Arthur Blank argued in an appearance for 92.9 The Game on Monday that the coaching staff may share equal blame.
“It was pretty clear, I think, it wasn’t a tight business operation in the fourth quarter yesterday,” Blank said. “Whether that sits with the coaching staff, with the players or whatever, there’s a variety of things that go in to that.
“They’re studying that today and trying to figure out and trying to get better.”
As far as Ridder, Blank noted that he’s been “growing and getting better every week” with Sunday being an exception.
Ridder completed 28 of 47 passes for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns versus the Commanders, but his 3 interceptions were costly. All 3 came in the second half.
It was a particularly disappointing performance for Ridder because he appeared to take a step forward the previous Sunday against the Houston Texans. In that contest, he completed 75.7% of his passes for 329 yards and 1 touchdown. He had zero interceptions.
On Monday, Blank called the performance “probably his best game as a professional.”
The good news for the Falcons is every other team in the NFC South also lost in Week 6. Therefore, there’s plenty of time for the team’s offense to fix its issues.
“It’s a long season. It is a marathon. It’s 17 games. We’ve only played 6,” Blank said during his radio appearance. “We need to play better and with more consistency on offense to be as competitive as we know we can be and should be.”
But, Ridder has yet to win a road game as an NFL starter. Three of Atlanta’s next four games are on the road before the team’s bye in Week 11.