Desmond Ridder NFL Week 15 Special Props: Falcons QB Makes First Start

The Falcons come out of their bye and will start rookie QB Desmond Ridder at QB.

A handful of rookie quarterbacks have made starts in the NFL this season, and it has been a very underwhelming class overall. Then again, scouts somewhat predicted that as only one QB was taken in the first round of the 2022 draft: Kenny Pickett at No. 20 overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has been OK, but it’s a sure thing that no signal-caller will win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

The second quarterback off the board in this year’s draft was the University of Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder at No. 74 overall to Atlanta. It was widely presumed the Falcons would take a QB fairly early after trading franchise icon and former league MVP Matt Ryan to Indianapolis earlier in the offseason. Ridder was Atlanta’s fourth draft pick, after receiver Drake London (No. 8 overall), linebacker Arnold Ebiketie (No. 38) and linebacker Troy Andersen (No. 58).

The 2023 quarterback class is considered excellent and whether the Falcons dip their toes in that pool again will be decided in the final four games of this season and Ridder, one of the winningest QBs in NCAA Division I history, will make his first NFL start on Sunday in New Orleans. Let’s break down some Ridder Week 15 props.

Mariota’s Time In Atlanta Likely Done

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder (4) throws

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder (4) warsm up before the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

It made complete sense for the Falcons to make the move now because they come off their bye week, and it allowed Ridder that much more time to take first-team reps in practice. Marcus Mariota had started every game so far and completed 61.3 percent of his passes for just 2,219 yards with 15 TDs and nine picks in a run-heavy offense.

The former Heisman winner was not pleased to learn he was demoted and left the team temporarily. He will now have season-ending knee surgery and his Falcons career is likely done. Coach Arthur Smith said the injury did not contribute to his decision to bench Mariota for, calling the move “performance-based.”

During the preseason, Ridder completed 34 of 56 pass attempts for 431 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions while carrying eight times for 58 yards across three appearances. He can run.

For Sunday, Ridder is set at over-under 175.5 passing yards, 1.5 TD passes and 0.5 interceptions. The Saints, who also come out of their bye week, have been solid against the pass in allowing 203.2 yards per game with 16 TDs, but they have picked off just three passes.

That Ridder is Atlanta’s starting QB in Week 1 next year is -300 with no at +200. Obviously will depend on how he plays down the stretch with games at Baltimore, vs. Arizona and vs. Tampa Bay still remaining after Week 15.

Bet on the Atlanta Falcons and More

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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