Following Sunday’s loss to the Steelers, Falcons head coach Arthur Smith made it clear that all positions would be evaluated as the team heads into the bye week.
However, it’s the quarterback position that fans are most concerned with at the moment. Marcus Mariota had another underwhelming effort in Week 13 and the calls for rookie Desmond Ridder are getting louder after each loss.
Sunday’s loss was definitely not all on Mariota, but his lack of accuracy on deep throws — which has been a consistent issue all season — played a factor in the team scoring just 16 points.
As you can see in Mariota’s Week 13 passing chart below, the Falcons QB is accurate on short-range passes but consistently misses on throws of 10 yards or more.
Image via NFL Next Gen Stats.
Mariota completed 13 passes in Week 13, but eight of those completions came within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. When looking at passes beyond 10 yards, he completed four of his 15 attempts, with an interception on his final throw.
Whether or not Sunday ends up being Mariota’s final game as the team’s starting quarterback, he just hasn’t shown any signs of improvement when it comes to pushing the pall down the field. Atlanta’s inability to test opposing secondaries has allowed defenses to tee off on the run and sit on short routes.
It’s a tough thing to manage offensively when you have a clear limitation on where you can go with the football in the passing game. The Falcons have good enough weapons to stretch the field, but they haven’t shown the ability to do so this season.
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