It's getting very sad to watch Marcus Mariota attempt to play quarterback in the NFL. Last night against the Panthers was particularly excruciating.
But it's not really Mariota's fault at this point. He is what he is. You don't get mad at a 16-year-old who crashes his third brand new car, because he probably shouldn't have been given that opportunity to begin with.
While it is coaching malpractice to not have given Desmond Ridder a shot by now, the only thing I can think is maybe he's somehow worse. I don't know that I believe that's possible — and even if it was, a rookie making the mistakes Mariota is making would be far more tolerable — but Ridder being the worst quarterback Arthur Smith has ever seen is about the only valid excuse for Mariota to take another snap as Atlanta's starting quarterback this season.
What's Ridder gonna do, wildly heave the ball downfield with no idea where any of his receivers or the opposing defensive backs are a few times a game? Because the guy playing right now is doing that, so there shouldn't really be much of an issue. I would honestly love the opportunity to find out that Ridder sucks. We know Mariota does, what's the harm in one more?
The Falcons could very plausibly be 7-3 with even an average quarterback and instead they're 4-6, somehow still being led by the corpse of Marcus Mariota. I feel bad for him and worse for myself and my fellow Falcons fans.
Either Ridder is the worst quarterback on an NFL roster or Smith is one of the worst head coaches in the League. I don't know which is worse.