Even in two not-awful performances, Mariota has erred enough to remind us why he was available in March on a moment’s notice. Against New Orleans, he fumbled in the red zone and bobbled the game’s biggest snap. Against the Rams, he was undone by Jalen Ramsey’s soaring interception on the goal line. Mariota was falling away as he delivered. Aaron Donald drove Cordarrelle Patterson into the quarterback. Donald does such stuff.
The Falcons haven’t looked terrible. They’re just limited in what they can do. Two weeks running, the gifted Kyle Pitts has caught two passes for 19 yards. His longest reception this season: 13 yards. A better quarterback would find ways to get him the ball. The Rams feed Cooper Kupp, do they not?
This isn’t meant as a screed. Mariota is doing what he was brought here to do – give the underwhelming Falcons a chance to win a few games by being a seasoned professional. The idea was never for him to win games by himself. If the Falcons lose four of their next six, there won’t be much need for a seasoned professional. It’ll be Ridder time. If turns out not to be Ridder’s time, there’s Bryce Young and/or C.J. Stroud.
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