Even though Desmond Ridder has thrown as many touchdowns as interceptions, the Atlanta Falcons are 4-3 and appear to be in a good spot to win the NFC South title in 2023. With that said, they should probably make a QB move at the trade deadline, as Ridder has largely been awful. Head coach Arthur Smith is in his third season as HC of the Falcons, and he's gone 7-10 in each of his first two seasons.
I think year three is going to be the make-or-break year for the young coach. The Falcons do have one of the better defenses in the NFL and a very strong offensive line and run game. You'd think that most QBs would be able to perform under those conditions, but Desmond Ridder has not been that guy for them thus far. Sure, the team is on pace for 10 wins, but would any other NFC playoff team truly be scared of the Falcons?
I think the answer is no, and if Arthur Smith and GM Terry Fontenot want to save this season and win the division, they should consider making a major QB move at the trade deadline. The one that makes the most sense and is the most realistic is reuniting Arthur Smith with Tennessee Titans' QB Ryan Tannehill.
The Titans basically gave away safety Kevin Byard to the Philadelphia Eagles, so there's reason to believe that this team could sell at the deadline. Certain insiders seem to think that the Titans could shop more players, and it would make sense since they are likely headed toward another losing season. With a rebuild in the near future for Tennessee, the Falcons should call about the availability of Ryan Tannehill, who played his best football under Smith and is a FA at the end of the year.
The Titans surely will not re-sign Tannehill, as they likely want to see what they have in rookie QB Will Levis, so Tennessee should just get what they can for Tannehill instead of letting him walk. This would also give the Falcons a short-term answer at QB and the best QB in the NFC South. Tannehill was playing elite football in 2019 and 2020 with Arthur Smith.
He threw for 55 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 6,561 yards and earned a passer rating of 110.6 in 28 total games with Smith, 26 in which Tannehill started. The former Miami Dolphin QB was playing arguably the best football of any QB in the NFL during that stretch. I think the Falcons could find similar success if they were to reunite the two in Atlanta.
Desmond Ridder would likely be thrown down the depth chart in this scenario, as the Falcons did pay a pretty penny for backup QB Taylor Heinicke. At some point in the very near future, I'd have to think that the Falcons would have a serious conversation with themselves and come to the conclusion that Desmond Ridder is simply not the guy who can lead this team in the present.
They need to make a major QB trade.