With rain pouring down and mishandled passes throwing in the towel, Marcus Mariota’s struggles have been on the forefront of the Atlanta Falcons’ 25-15 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night time.
Nevertheless, Falcons coach Arthur Smith declined to position blame for the loss on Mariota’s shoulders or talk about the potential of shifting to rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder.
“I do know it is a well-liked narrative, these are the simple inquiries to ask,” Smith mentioned when requested if a quarterback change was one thing he would think about forward of Atlanta’s Week 11 sport in opposition to the Chicago Bears. “However as a complete crew, we now have to do a greater job, beginning with myself. So we verify each week to verify we now have the appropriate guys in the appropriate locations.”
Smith mentioned he by no means considered going to Ridder at any level on Thursday night time, which began badly for the Falcons offense and continued with a loss that left Atlanta 4-6.
Boasting the 4th-ranked quick offense arriving at night time and simply the Thirtieth-ranked passing offense, the Falcons discovered themselves in troubled waters early on. Within the first 4 makes an attempt, the Falcons made three punts and Mariota made a horrible interception to Jaycee Horn on the fourth. This led to a 13-0 begin for the Panthers. So Mariota discovered himself preventing and urgent, urgent and preventing.
“I used to be simply attempting to create a spark, and I believe trying again over my profession, that is after I give myself essentially the most bother, you recognize, reckless pitches, forcing issues on the sector,” Mariota mentioned. “So possibly by stumbling, achieve a couple of meters and maintain the chains shifting.”
Mariota’s pitching and decision-making was interrupted for many of the night time.
He completed his crew’s second straight loss with 19-of-30 passes for 186 yards, two touchdowns to Drake London, an interception and an 89.0 ranking. The numbers did not do justice to the fights that actually coloured the night time, nevertheless.
Atlanta was simply 3-of-11 on third down, totaled 291 yards attacking with 97 approaching a late scoring drive, and went goalless within the first half till a discipline aim by Younghoe Koo with no time left.
As Smith talked about, all the things can’t be totally supported by Mariota. The offensive line struggled, as evidenced by 5 sacks allowed. Nonetheless, Mariota wasn’t innocent in that division as he thought-about a horrible first-half sack close to the touchline he had sufficient time to throw it out.
In what has been a disappointing theme of the season, the QB unsuccessfully tried to interact tight finish Kyle Pitts, however solely hit twice for 28 yards on eight targets.
On a slippery night time, it was a surprise he did not have multiple intercept, as passes bounced off the Panthers or generally appeared exterior the realm code of any Atlanta goal. Mariota additionally had what gave the impression to be an interception, as an alternative it was a sack after he made an try on the North Carolina night time whereas rolling to the bottom.
Blessed with a knack for rivalry, Mariota has gave the impression to be the appropriate match for the Falcons at occasions when the bottom sport is rolling and the crew is taking part in the higher hand. That wasn’t the case on Thursday and it wasn’t the case in a Week 9 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
The clamor for Ridder, a third-round decide from Cincinnati, is mounting. For now, although, Smith is not prepared to speak about that change.
“Are you able to speak concerning the quarterback, how concerning the crew?” mentioned Smith. “We have had a chance on the finish of the fourth quarter within the final couple of weeks, and in many various methods, and many various phases the place we have to enhance. And we now have the chance to try this with seven video games to go.”