The Atlanta Falcons fought hard during Sunday’s back-and-forth matchup against the Washington Commanders, but the team came up short in the biggest moments.
Trailing 19-13, the Falcons drove into scoring position when quarterback Marcus Mariota had his red-zone pass attempt tipped up into the air and intercepted. The Commanders sent Atlanta home with a 5-7 record after yet another missed opportunity.
Despite Mariota’s late interception, the Falcons QB didn’t have a horrible day. Check out his Week 12 passing chart below, courtesy of NFL Next Gen Stats.
Nine of Mariota’s 15 passing completions came within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. He completed two passes of 20 yards or more, and finished with one short touchdown pass and one interception.
We know the Falcons can be competitive with Mariota under center, but he also limits the team’s ceiling offensively. And while you can’t discount his running ability, it would seem wise to give rookie Desmond Ridder a look at some point before next year’s draft.
However, Atlanta remains in the playoff hunt at 5-7 — even if it’s strictly due to the Buccaneers’ inability to seize the NFC South — and until the team is mathematically eliminated, don’t expect Arthur Smith to make a change at quarterback.
In Week 13, the Falcons will see Steelers rookie QB Kenny Pickett when Pittsburgh comes to town.
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Story originally appeared on Falcons Wire