The Atlanta Falcons dropped their fourth straight game, this time on the road against the Baltimore Ravens in the 17-9 loss.
The loss will be marked by the offensive struggles to punch the ball into the endzone despite the promising performance of rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder in his second career start.
Fourth Down Fumbles
A Drake London fumble on fourth down a week ago officially sealed any hope of a Falcons comeback against the New Orleans Saints.
History repeated itself in Saturday’s game against the Ravens, as Ridder found his favorite target for a 20-yard gain before Marlon Humphrey punched the ball loose, negating a great throw by the rookie signal-caller on fourth down.
London and Ridder have something going in the passing game. Despite two fumbles in crucial moments, he gives the former USC Trojan chance after chance. London finished with 96 yards on seven receptions.
Ridder Finding Rhythm?
The Falcons offense didn’t get much going in the first half. Atlanta mustered just 137 yards in the first half, 114 of which came off the arm of Ridder, as the running game couldn’t find any success.
The rookie managed the offense well, keeping them out of bad situations, other than two sacks. Ridder’s performance looks like an improvement from his first start, where he didn’t even break the 100 yards passing benchmark.
Ridder completed 22 of his 33 passes for 218 yards, making it the first time a Falcons quarterback has broken the 200-yard mark since the 37-34 win over the Carolina Panthers.
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith showed a lot of frustration with the officials throughout the game, expressing his displeasure on two very controversial calls.
First, amid the last Falcons drive of the first half. An under-pressure Ridder scrambled away from pressure before throwing the ball away, yet it did not cross the line of scrimmage, drawing an intentional grounding penalty. Smith and the Falcons faithful believed that Ridder’s arm was hit as he tried to throw the ball away. The penalty helped hold the Falcons to a field goal before the half.
Frustrations would once again boil over as Cordarrelle Patterson ran 13 yards for what would’ve been a touchdown before a flag came flying in. Wide receiver Olamide Zaccheus was called for a very controversial hold on the run play.
A pair of penalties and two Falcons field goals, one of which could’ve been a touchdown if not for the hold.
While the loss means the Falcons are eliminated from the playoffs, they will host the Arizona Cardinals next on Jan. 1, 2023. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
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[Video] Youtube Desmond Ridder postgame press conference | Falcons vs. Ravens
Quarterback Desmond Ridder speaks to the media following the Falcons week 16 matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.
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