London ball

Pitts and London at a serious disadvantage with Mariota

The hottest topic in Falcons circles is the quarterback controversy or lack thereof. Those last weeks, Marcus MariotaThe game has been abysmal, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that he’s a caliber backup caller in this league. It peaked against the Panthers on Thursday Night Football; on national television, the veteran was taking some of the most unnecessary risks I’ve ever seen. Throughout the contest, Falcons fans and all other football fans expressed their frustration, wondering why Arthur Smith hadn’t turned to Desmond Ridder.

After the loss, the narrative picked up momentum. Analysts, Kyle PittsFantasy owners and fans alike were clamoring for Ridder to be near his NFL debut. Well, Monday came, and the Falcons head coach confirmed he will stay with Mariotanoting that the team was in the “midst” of a playoff run.

Without claiming that the rookie is better, the eye test confirms that Mariota is not functioning. The Falcons offense depends on one way to win – an extended running game with a completed game action passing game. And when the team can’t run the ball, everything else falls apart as Mariota is unable to step back and move the ball himself down the field. Mariota is inconsistent with her anticipation and timing. That’s without even noticing that the offensive line isn’t exactly pass rushes. Even when every other facet is working, his accuracy continues to falter the team.

More than the sight test, the numbers confirm said inaccuracies. It is before last in percentage of bad throws (20.6%), with the third lowest success rate down (2.7%). Essentially, this means that there are only three quarters – Carson Wentz, Zach Wilsonand Cooper Rush – who have a higher percentage of their throws classified as “bad” according to Professional Football Reference. And of all the passes thrown, only two throwers — Dak Prescott and Kenny Pickett – had fewer balls dropped. It’s not ideal.

Additionally, Kyle Pitts and Drake Londonthe Falcons’ top two pass catchers, are among the top ten pass catchers with the highest off-target rates — with Pitts being the highest… by a significant margin.

30% of targets coming to Pitts are considered off target, which is crazy considering the former No. 4 overall pick is 6-foot-6 with a record-breaking wingspan. Pitts is a freak of nature, and he continually misses Mariota. On national television, he hit what everyone thought was the last straw.

To make matters worse, Drake London is an absolute stud. Of everyone on the listFalcons rookie is one of three players — amari cooper and Darnell Mooney — with a catch rate above 60 %. The Falcons have two Ferraris and a 16-year-old is trying to drive them. Smith is staying with Mariota because he and the coaching staff believe the veteran gives the team the best chance of winning games right now, and that’s his prerogative.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire