Let’s start this off by saying congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs and their staff. There were a ton of questions coming into this season after the Tyreek Hill trade about the effectiveness of this offense without the “Cheetah”. Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and company quelled all of those questions and ended up holding the Lombardi trophy at the end of it all. But throughout the two weeks that set up Super Bowl LVII, there were some narratives and talking points about these quarterbacks that could easily resonate with the Atlanta Falcons and their fans. Even throughout the game itself, the Atlanta Falcons brass could take a few notes on how to go about the 2023 season and beyond.
How the Atlanta Falcons Can Learn From Super Bowl LVII Quarterbacks
This Is A Quarterback’s League
Throughout this run of dominance for the Kansas City Chiefs, they have had an advantage nobody else has. There is a reason the Chiefs are in any game they play in. If you don’t think that’s the case, look at their stats when trailing by 10+ points and get back to me.
The Chiefs simply have the best marriage between play-caller and quarterback. The Mahomes-Reid pairing has been the best duo since the 20-year stint of Belichick-Brady. Showing that once you have the head coach and quarterback, everything else tends to fall into place.
Looking at the Falcons, the play-caller seems to be in place with Arthur Smith. He’s shown that his offense can be friendly to a quarterback, with the right supporting cast. There’s a reason that Ryan Tannehill saw a resurgence of sorts with Smith and hasn’t looked the same since he left. Now, it’s about finding the quarterback who not only can work in this system, but elevate it.
Is that Desmond Ridder? It’s too early to tell. The first four games of his career were uninspiring, to say the least. But they were four games, with two and a half of them coming against aggressive, attacking defenses. Still, 73 of 115 passes for 708 yards and two touchdowns is not blowing the doors off of anybody in the building in Flowery Branch.
Which leads me to say that anybody advocating for Lamar to come in, I understand the sentiments. When you have the quarterback, especially this young, you can build around him for years to come. There’s not going to be many 26-year-old former MVPs hitting the quarterback market anytime soon. Not to mention that he would make this a top-five offense in the conference when you pair him with Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and Tyler Allgeier.
The Team Has To Work To The Quarterback’s Strength
Going into this game, I thought this was going to be a battle of team-building ideologies. The Philadelphia Eagles built the roster around the quarterback, both offensively and defensively. Plug in second-year Jalen Hurts and task him to prove that he can be the guy going forward.
While the Chiefs put their faith in their special Reid-Mahomes pairing. Build a team that is good enough to compete at the highest level, so long as they have that special pairing at head coach and quarterback.
Essentially, both sides of the Lamar Jackson-Desmond Ridder civil war that Atlanta Falcons fans were debating before the Super Bowl started and probably will continue to debate well into free agency.
Watching this game, both sides are correct. Whether they decide to splurge and spend on Lamar or stay put with Ridder and build the rest of the roster around the quarterback position, the Falcons have placed themselves in a position to compete soon. Side note, Arthur Blank has given his stamp of approval on the young gun from Cincinnati as the starter. We’ll see in the coming weeks how much weight that holds in the final decision.
In both instances, the Falcons brass will have to fill out the other 52 pieces on this roster to bolster what the quarterback does well. Remember, Mahomes finished with fewer than 200 yards. The first Super Bowl winner to do so since Peyton Manning rode off into the sunset in 2016.
His defense stepped up and kept them in the game by stealing a score with a scoop-and-score by Nick Bolton. Not to mention holding this vaunted Eagles offense to 14 points over their last five possessions. Thus, giving their own high-powered offense a chance to win late.
The Atlanta Falcons are getting closer and closer to executing their plan. They’ve withstood the barrage of criticism that has come from back-to-back losing seasons to start this regime’s tenure. It’s time to turn it around. The question will remain — at least until this Lamar situation is settled — what is the best way to go about competing this year and beyond?
If we do go the Lamar route, how do we go about fixing this historically awful defense? Can we trust what we have with Desmond Ridder after his first four starts left the fan-base wanting more from the quarterback position?
It’s time for this regime to execute their plan and get back into playoff contention. Atlanta Falcons fans are tired of sitting on the sideline in late January and February, watching others battle it out for the title of “Super Bowl Champion”. It’s time for the Atlanta Falcons to find (or develop) the quarterback who will lead them back to the Super Bowl.