Falcons Announce Long-Awaited Quarterback Change Heading Into Bye Week

David Kaestle
The Atlanta Falcons are benching Marcus Mariota and starting Desmond Ridder after their bye week.
The Atlanta Falcons are benching Marcus Mariota and starting Desmond Ridder after their bye week. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

When the Atlanta Falcons drafted Desmond Ridder out of Cincinnati in the 2022 NFL Draft, it seemed like only a matter of time before he would become the team's starter. Then Atlanta's season starting going a lot better than most people had expected, and that has kept them in the playoff hunt in the underperforming NFC South.

Falcons Quarterback Change

Despite still being in the playoff conversation, the Falcons have decided to make a change. The rookie Ridder will take the place of Marcus Mariota as the team's starting quarterback.

Mariota hasn't been terrible this season, but he also hasn't been great. He has 15 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, and a passer rating of 88.2. He's added a solid 438 rushing yards, but he's largely been a game manager.

Even if Ridder isn't the long-term answer, it's worth it for Atlanta to give him these last few weeks to find out what he can do in live game action. The 2023 NFL Draft is one that will have plenty of quarterback options, with some predicting as many as four or five quarterbacks could be selected in the first round alone.

If Ridder isn't the answer, Atlanta needs to know that before the draft so they can address the position if needed.

Ridder's first matchup as a starter will be in Week 15 against the New Orleans Saints, as Atlanta is on bye this week. FanDuel Sportsbook's early Week 15 NFL odds have them as 4.5-point underdogs in that one.

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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. 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.

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