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Falcons QB Marcus Mariota Texts Desmond Ridder Advice After First NFL Start

Despite being replaced by Desmond Ridder, Marcus Mariota offered advice to the young signal-caller after his first start for the Atlanta Falcons.

The first career start for Atlanta Falcons rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder did not go as planned. 

On Sunday, the Falcons' 21-18 loss to the New Orleans Saints saw them drop to last place in the NFC South. 

Ridder revealed that he received advice from his teammate and predecessor, Marcus Mariota. 

"Keep slinging it," Mariota said to the young signal-caller after completing his first start. 

Ridder completed 13 of his 26 passes for an underwhelming 97 yards after not completing any of his first four throws. Even the rookie knows that his performance on Sunday wasn't good enough. The result ... Ridder gave himself a "C-minus-to-D" performance grade. 

But as head coach Arthur Smith has said, one game won't define Ridder. The Falcons chose to go with Ridder as the offense started to regress. The passing game struggled to break to the 200-yard mark consistently. 

While late-game interceptions cost the Falcons' games against the Washington Commanders and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ultimately those costly turnovers and inconsistent results cost Mariota his job. 

One positive that can be taken from Ridder's debut is the fact he did not turn the ball over. The Falcons don't need him to make the flashy play, something it seemed to be looking for early in the game, asking the rookie to take shots down the field. Instead, Atlanta's offense needs him to get the ball out to the playmakers and keep the offense on the field. 

The Falcons will ask Ridder to "keep slinging it" on Saturday at 1 p.m. as they take on the Baltimore Ravens

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