Falcons Already Preparing for a Lost Season in 2022

Larry Rupp
The Atlanta Falcons are already preparing for a lost season in 2022.
The Atlanta Falcons are already preparing for a lost season in 2022. / AP Photos/John Munson

The Atlanta Falcons were up-and-down throughout the 2021 NFL season, which ultimately led to a 7-10 record. Quarterback Matt Ryan is out and Marcus Mariota is in, but that doesn't mean the coaching staff is expecting everything to turn around. Preparations are already being made for a lost season.

Atlanta Falcons 2022 Season

The Athletic's Josh Kendall reported that head coach Arthur Smith is "trying to get [Desmond Ridder] ready for at least some action this season." He worked the rookie "hard" during training camp and gave him a ton of snaps in the preseason, too. None of that screams confidence in Mariota's abilities.

"We're going to be hard on Desmond, because he's a good player and can take that kind of coaching. He understands that we're not waiting on him as a rookie; we're trying to speed him up."

Arthur Smith on Desmond Ridder

The simple fact is that if Ridder is thrown in action during the regular season, that means Mariota either struggles to win games or gets hurt. Neither outcome helps the Falcons secure a coveted playoff spot in any way. The veteran QB owns a 29-32 record as a starter in his seven-year career.

Ridder played well in the preseason, although most of his playing time came against defensive backups. The Cincinnati product completed 60.8% of his pass attempts for 431 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Ridder also logged 53 yards on the ground on two carries.

Atlanta will get a chance to start the year on a positive note when they host the New Orleans Saints in Week 1. The Falcons enter that matchup as a 5.5-point underdog with odds set at +180 on the moneyline, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.