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Falcons sticking with Ridder at QB despite struggles

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The Atlanta Falcons aren't planning on making a change at quarterback despite Desmond Ridder's recent struggles, head coach Arthur Smith announced Monday.

Atlanta didn't score any first-half points after Ridder tossed two interceptions - including a 61-yard pick-6 - in the first two quarters versus the Jacksonville Jaguars in London on Sunday. The second-year passer slightly improved in the second half, but it wasn't enough to avoid the Falcons' second loss of the season. Ridder finished the 23-7 defeat with 19 completions on 31 attempts for 191 yards and one touchdown against two picks.

"I thought he came back," Smith said Monday of Ridder's Week 4 performance, according to Nick Shook of "It obviously wasn't what you wanted result-wise, but he gave us a chance."

In four games this year, Ridder has completed 62.2% of his passes for 744 yards and three TDs to three interceptions. He's also scored one touchdown on the ground and lost two fumbles.

Smith said Ridder still has his teammates' support.

"We have the right guys in the locker room, where we can have those conversations," the coach added, according to team reporter Terrin Waack.

The Falcons drafted Ridder in the third round in 2022. The Cincinnati product backed up Marcus Mariota for most of last season but started the campaign's final four games before being named the starter in 2023. The club is 4-4 with him under center.

Atlanta also signed veteran quarterback Taylor Heinicke to a two-year contract this past offseason.

The 2-2 Falcons, averaging just 15.5 points per game, host the Houston Texans in Week 5.

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