Thursday, October 19, 2023

Atlanta Falcons Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2023 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 7 roundup for the Atlanta Falcons in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 23

Lesson learned: The quarterback answer is still unknown.

Before the season began, anyone who told you they knew whether or not Desmond Ridder would be a good NFL starter would have been lying to you. Six weeks in, there's not an obvious answer. He has thrown five interceptions over the past three games, and three of the picks looked to be his clear mistake. But he also has thrown for over 300 yards in each of the past two games. There's more data to look at, and Ridder is still young and growing into the role, but the Falcons can't say with any certainty they have their quarterback of the future as Ridder is wildly inconsistent in the present. Which might end up being the answer in the long run. -- Michael Rothstein -- Rank: 22

Arthur Smith's decision to go for two after cutting Washington's lead to eight points early in the fourth quarter (the attempt failed) was not why the Falcons lost Sunday. Analytics folks have been screaming for years that going for two increases a team's chances of winning, and some coaches are finally listening. The real problem: Desmond Ridder followed up arguably the best game of his young career last week with arguably his worst -- against a Commanders defense that just had 40 hung on it by the Bears. Ridder's three picks (especially the last one) and two turnovers on downs did Atlanta in, raising questions about the quarterback and an offense that has failed to top 16 points in half the Falcons' games. The defense had five sacks and allowed fewer than 200 yards, but it wasn't enough.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 20

Losing at home to the Commanders is not good. Desmond Ridder regressed after a promising game a week ago.

USA Today -- Rank: 24

Is there any head coach more fun to watch — meaning, literally taking in his facial expressions — than Arthur Smith? If he wants the focus back on his brilliance as a play caller and not his sideline grimaces, Smith might need to pivot to QB Taylor Heinicke.

The Athletic -- Rank: 23

What's the weirdest statistic in the NFL at the moment? Desmond Ridder has more passing yards in the last two weeks (636 yards) than anyone in the league. Or passing attempts (84) for that matter. But it hasn't helped the Falcons much. They are 1-1 in that span, and their most impressive win this year was against a Houston team that is just starting its rebuild, and they needed a last-second field goal at home to pull that out.

FOX -- Rank: 17

One step forward, one step back for Desmond Ridder. He threw three interceptions against Washington on Sunday — all of them in the second half and one of them in the opposing end zone. In a game that you lose by eight points, it's not remotely good enough.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 21

Bijan Robinson has 80 carries this season. Tyler Allgeier has 75. Robinson is averaging 5 yards per carry. Allgeier is at 3.2. During a key goal-to-go sequence in the fourth quarter that ended with Desmond Ridder throwing an interception, it was Allgeier, not Robinson, who got a first-down carry. Allgeier gained just 1 yard. We all know head coach Arthur Smith has a weird hangup about getting his best players the ball consistently, but why draft Robinson eighth overall if he's going to be just a committee back? You can find that on the third day of the draft.

PFT -- Rank: 22

Is it Heinicke time?

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