That the Atlanta Falcons are going into the 2023 season with Desmond Ridder as their quarterback has been a burr under the saddle for much of the NFL landscape.
Colin Cowherd blasted the Vegas line of 8.5 wins for the Falcons, because how can a team win eight games with Ridder?
Chris Simms called Ridder the 40th out of 40 quarterbacks in the NFL.
NFL media ridiculed the Falcons for not mortgaging their future for an unattainable quarterback in Lamar Jackson.
However, the narrative is finally beginning to change. The Falcons resolutely stuck behind Ridder heading into the 2023 season, and people are starting to take notice of the team being built around him.
NFL.com’s Adam Rank is one of the first to hop on the Ridder bandwagon heading into 2023.
I believe in Ridder. I know his debut was not earth-shattering, but I am heavily factoring in the upside of his situation. There’s nothing better for a young QB than to have an offensive-minded head coach and be surrounded with talent. That’s what the Falcons have provided for Ridder, who will be working behind a solid offensive line, handing the ball off to Bijan Robinson, Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson and throwing to a group that includes Kyle Pitts and Drake London. The 23-year-old has to improve his ball security (three fumbles in four games as a rookie), but he’s a good passer with the athleticism to move when he needs to. He reminds me of Alex Smith, who could run, even if his game was based primarily on his aerial skills.Adam Rank, NFL.com
Yes, Ridder’s sample size was small and the competition wasn’t great, but he rose to the challenge put in front of him. Ridder has an excellent offensive line and running game and playmakers that can be used in a variety of ways.
The Falcons have built an offense that is quarterback friendly. They bet on Desmond Ridder for 2023 to lead them back to the playoffs.
Rank has jumped on the bandwagon, and he won’t be the last by season’s end.