Falcons QB Desmond Ridder Makes Bold Statement On 2023

Desmond Ridder, Falcons
NFL Analysis Network

The Atlanta Falcons have put a lot of premium assets into their offense in recent years. Their last three first-round picks have all been skill position players with tight end Kyle Pitts in 2021, wide receiver Drake London in 2022 and running back Bijan Robinson in 2023.

The foundation of their team on that side of the ball, with multiple offensive linemen locked into long-term deals, is set. Alas, all of the success for the Falcons’ offensive lies on the shoulders of quarterback Desmond Ridder.

Ridder was a third-round pick of Atlanta in the 2022 NFL Draft and ended up starting the last four games of the regular season. He was okay in those opportunities, but many people thought the team would seek an upgrade this offseason with a few veteran quarterbacks available.

Instead, the Falcons opted to stay the course and stick with Ridder. It is a big risk sticking with him as Arthur Smith should start feeling some pressure to get a winning season under his belt. The team has gone 7-10 in each of his first two seasons, so a third consecutive losing season would put him squarely on the hot seat.

Alas, if the offense lives up to the bold statement that Ridder recently made, Smith won’t have to worry about his job security. The Cincinnati product believes that the Falcons are going to be an explosive group offensively.

“However that comes, we just want to be explosive,” Ridder said. “Whether it’s in the run game, the pass game, whatever it may be, obviously this is a game where you got to put points up on the board, and that’s something that we want to do as an offense, all the while taking care of the ball, controlling the game, just doing what you have to do to go out there and win. So from the Falcons offense, we can just go out there just play our hardest and expect to be explosive.”

The pieces are certainly in place for the Falcons to have an explosive unit. They are loaded with young, talented skill position players and the offensive line is a solid unit as well. If Ridder can take a second-year leap and elevate this offense, there is certainly a chance to compete for the NFC South title.

Right now, the New Orleans Saints look to be the early favorites based solely on the fact they have the most established quarterback situation with Derek Carr taking over. But, with how tightly contested things were last season, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the division at 8-9, the Falcons shouldn’t be counted out of the race.

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