Posted on: November 3, 2023, 11:14h.
Final up to date on: November 4, 2023, 11:40h.
Backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke will begin for the Atlanta Falcons this week after they benched starter Desmond Ridder.
The Falcons (4-4) are tied for first place within the NFC South with the New Orleans Saints.
Head coach Arthur Smith made the command determination to modify quarterbacks in opposition to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9.
The Vikings may also have a brand new beginning quarterback this week. Kirk Cousins sustained a season-ending torn Achilles on Sunday, and backup Jaren Corridor will begin in opposition to the Falcons. The Vikings not too long ago acquired veteran quarterback Josh Dobbs in a commerce with the Arizona Cardinals, however he received’t be able to step into the beginning position till subsequent week.
The Falcons are -4 favorites once they host the Vikings (4-4) on Sunday. The Falcons are one of many worst betting groups within the NFL this season, with a 2-6 document in opposition to the purpose unfold. The Vikings are 4-3-1 ATS this season, however that was with Cousins at quarterback.
Struggling Desmond Ridder Benched
Smith benched Ridder to jump-start the sputtering offense. The Falcons common 17.3 factors per recreation, which is the fourth-lowest scoring offense within the NFL. Three of their victories have been determined by three factors or much less. They scored fewer than seven factors in two of their losses.
For the second consecutive season, Ridder finds himself in the course of a quarterback shake-up. In December of final season, Smith benched beginning quarterback Marcus Mariota. Ridder was an untested rookie out of Cincinnati, however Smith gave him an opportunity to play within the closing month of the season. Ridder confirmed promise and went 2-2 throughout his stint as a starter.
The Falcons put in Ridder because the starter this season, and he’s 4-4 thus far this 12 months. He accomplished 65.4% of his passes for 1,701 yards, with six passing touchdowns and three dashing touchdowns. He tossed six interceptions and was sacked 25 occasions.
In Week 8 final Sunday, the Tennessee Titans sacked Ridder 5 occasions. A banged-up Ridder was evaluated for a concussion at halftime. Though the Falcon’s medical employees cleared Ridder, Smith tapped Heinicke to return off the bench and end the sport.
“We’re at all times going to be cautious,” stated Smith. “I’ll be conservative.”
Smith insisted that he didn’t bench Ridder, however saved him out for well being issues. The Falcons misplaced, 28-23, and slipped to 4-4.
Heinicke Lastly Will get a Shot
Heinicke began 24 video games with the Washington Commanders and went 12-11-1 during the last two seasons as their starter. He joined the Falcons in free company as a well-paid backup behind Ridder. Some followers clamored for Heinicke to begin over Ridder at the start of the season. Now, they lastly get their want in Week 9.
Smith didn’t say whether or not or not the quarterback swap was short-term or everlasting.
There are lots of variables, simply form of taking a look at it within the quick time period,” Smith stated. “However actually our focus is brief time period and what provides us the most effective probability Sunday. All the pieces thought-about, lots of variables.”
The Falcons trailed 14-3 in opposition to the Titans at halftime when Heinicke took over in the beginning of the third quarter. Heinicke led the Falcons to scoring drives on 4 of their first 5 possessions within the second half. Though Heinicke made the sport aggressive, the Falcons got here up quick and misplaced by 5 factors. He accomplished 12 of 21 passes for 175 yards and one landing in a aid look.
“Whether or not you name it spatial consciousness or no matter, Taylor’s bought a novel means to increase performs,” stated Smith. “This isn’t his first rodeo. He’s been a fantastic match right here. That’s why you signal a man like him.”
In 26 complete video games with the Commanders, Heinicke accomplished 64% of his passes for five,145 yards. He threw 33 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.
“The one factor I’m targeted on is that this week,” stated Heinicke. “The Vikings have a very tough protection. That’s sufficient on my plate proper there. I’m targeted on being the man this week. We’ll see what occurs going ahead.”
Betting the Falcons in Tight NFC South Race
The NFC South has been extensive open ever since Tom Brady retired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and so they signed Baker Mayfield to exchange the celebrity. The division winner locks up an automated bid to the postseason, and the NFC South is a three-way race among the many Falcons, Saints, and Bucs. Because the NFL approaches the midpoint of the season, the Bucs (3-4) had an early bye week, and so they’re a half-game behind the Falcons and Saints at 4-4.
The Falcons are the present betting favourite to win the NFC South at +115 odds. The Saints are proper behind them at +125 odds. The Bucs are at +500 odds, and the last-place Carolina Panthers are an extended shot at +6500 odds.
DraftKings provides a preferred prop wager on which groups will make or miss the playoffs. The Falcons are -185 odds to make the playoffs and +150 odds to overlook the postseason. The Saints are -150 odds to advance to the playoffs however +120 odds to overlook it.
In response to Upshot’s NFL playoff simulator, the Falcons have a 57% probability to advance to the playoffs and a 36% probability to win the NFC South. The Saints have a extra favorable projection, in keeping with Upshot, with a 71% probability to make the playoffs and a 52% probability to win the division.
The Falcons started the season at +6000 odds to win Tremendous Bowl LVIII. They’re at the moment +7000 odds and have a 1% probability to win the Tremendous Bowl, in keeping with Upshot.