Frontrunner Emerges for Falcons' Starting QB Job

Larry Rupp
A frontrunner has emerged for the Atlanta Falcons' starting quarterback job.
A frontrunner has emerged for the Atlanta Falcons' starting quarterback job. / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons shook things up at the quarterback position this past offseason. Not only did they trade away long-time starter Matt Ryan, but they also signed Marcus Mariota in free agency and drafted Desmond Ridder in the third round. Only one of them can be named the starter, though.

Atlanta Falcons News

Falcons reporter Michael Rothstein recently gave Ridder only a 5% chance of starting in Week 1, saying that Mariota "appears to be far ahead" right now. Of course, Atlanta originally signed Mariota in March to be the offensive leader and all signs point to that still being true heading into training camp.

Mariota has acted as Derek Carr's backup in Las Vegas for the last two seasons, appearing in only 11 games overall. In his career, the 28-year-old owns a 29-32 record and a completion percentage of 62.8%. Mariota has also accounted for 90 total touchdowns and thrown 45 interceptions.

Rothstein touched on how Mariota is familiar with head coach Arthur Smith's offensive scheme considering the two spent time together on the Tennessee Titans. If the Falcons can stay in playoff contention throughout the season, there's no reason to believe Mariota would be benched.

However, that may be a hopeful dream at this point. The Falcons have the second-worst odds to make the NFL postseason at +750, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

That's a big reason why Rothstein gave Ridder a 20% chance of starting at some point in the fall, citing Week 11 or Week 15 as possible debut dates. An injury could always force him into action sooner, too.

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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.