Falcons QB Desmond Ridder experiences rookie yips in first half vs. Jaguars

·2 min read

In his first two NFL preseason games, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder completed 20 of 35 passes for 246 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 98.0. The third-round pick out of Cincinnati looked like a natural fit in Arthur Smith’s defense, and he impressed a lot of people with how he was able to take command, go through his progressions, and attack defenses. Ridder completed two passes on seven attempts of 20 or more air yards for 55 yards and one of his touchdowns, and he was composed under pressure.

Our own Mark Schofield recently surmised that in Ridder and veteran Marcus Mariota, the Falcons — who may have the NFL’s least-talented roster — had the kind of problem you want at quarterback, with two guys capable of starting and winning in the league.

That may still be true of Ridder, but against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday afternoon, Ridder did something he hasn’t yet done in the league — he looked very much like a rookie. At least in the first half, when he completed seven of 11 passes for 41 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, and a passer rating of 61.4.

Both interceptions were troubling. On his first throw, Ridder bombed the ball into a lot of Jaguars, and not a lot of Falcons, with the expected result. Ridder either tried to bite off more than he should have, or receiver Damiere Byrd was where he shouldn’t have been. Either way, this was Not Good.

And then, at the end of the half, Ridder tried to hit receiver Frank Darby downfield, moving to his left, and there wasn’t quite the velocity you’d want on this one. As our Laurie Fitzpatrick, said, oof.

Both of these throws were easy picks for the defense. This is not to say that Ridder is in a hole — he did play beyond the expectations of most — but this was definitely not a step in the right direction.

No matter how much progress you show as a young quarterback, the rookie yips can hit you at any time.

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire