Cincinnati Football: Atlanta Falcons set to start rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder

Atlanta Falcons rookie and former Bearcats All-AAC quarterback Desmond Ridder is set to make his first career start against division rival New Orleans Saints on Sunday afternoon at the Caesars Superdome.

Ridder spent four seasons in Cincinnati and became the third winningest quarterback in college football history before being drafted by the Falcons in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft in late April.

Since starting quarterback Marcus Mariota continues to deal with a knee injury, Atlanta head coach Arthur Smith decided to promote Ridder with four games left in the regular season according to Ian Rapoport.

Even though it remains a longshot, the Falcons still have a chance to reach the playoffs if they can finish the regular season on a winning streak and Ridder has a great opportunity to lead the way now.

Cincinnati Football: Atlanta Falcons set to start rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder

In his preseason debut against the Detroit Lions in August, Ridder found a way to propel Atlanta to a last-second win with a game-winning touchdown pass with less than two minutes remaining.

Ridder totaled 103 passing yards, 59 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the 27-23 win. The rookie quarterback completed 60.7% of his attempts in three preseason games including a pair of wins.

During his career at Cincinnati, the Louisville native became one of the best quarterbacks in conference history after receiving back to back AAC Offensive Player of the Year awards as a junior and senior.

Make sure to stay up to date as the former Bearcats quarterback makes his highly-anticipated first start with kick off scheduled for Sunday, December 18 at 1:00 PM. The Falcons opened as 4-point underdogs.