The Falcons got their first win on the road in more than a year when Younghoe Koo booted a game-winning field goal on the final play of Sunday's game in Tampa, but it probably shouldn't have come down to that kick.
Atlanta moved the ball well all day and picked up 400 yards of offense while their defense was forcing two turnovers to keep the Buccaneers from generating much offensive momentum. They only had 13 points to show for their effort, though, and three lost fumbles by quarterback Desmond Ridder in the red zone were the biggest reason why the game remained close.
Ridder threw three interceptions the week before, so no one would have batted an eye if head coach Arthur Smith made the lack of ball security his chief focus after the game. Smith noted that "we certainly know how to make it hard on ourselves" before zagging the other way when it came to discussing Ridder's performance.
"We just won the game, 16-13," Smith said, via the team's website. "The guy played phenomenal in the pocket. . . . Let's give [Ridder] some credit. Let's give this team credit for winning. There's always things but we're not going to run away with some negative narrative. We found a way to win. I'm not worried about Desmond Ridder. He's tough and he finds a way to win."
Smith's desire to accentuate the positives is understandable, but it can't come at the expense of eliminating the negatives. Ridder has turned the ball over 11 times this year and that's not a winning formula for an NFL quarterback over the long term.