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Marcus Mariota vs. Desmond Ridder: How Falcons QB battle looks after Week 1 preseason game

We take a look at how Falcons QBs Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder looked in Week 1 of the NFL preseason and how the depth chart battle is trending.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons Minicamp Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons opened the preseason against the Detroit Lions on Friday and everyone got a glimpse at quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder in the exhibition. The veteran Mariota made the start in the first quarter while the rookie Ridder took over for the rest of the game and made some late-game heroics.

We’ll go over their performances below.

Week 1 preseason reps, stats

Mariota was only in the game for one series in the first quarter and made it count. He led a 12-play, 82-yard drive that ended when he took a six-yard scamper for a touchdown. He went 2-2 through the air for 36 yards and took three carries for 23 yards and the aforementioned touchdown.

Ridder played the rest of the contest and came up clutch late. Facing 4th and nine with 1:37 left in the game, the rookie scrambled out of a collapsing pocket and fired off a 21-yard touchdown pass to Jared Bernhardt for the go-ahead score.

He finished the game going 10-22 through the air for 103 yards and two touchdowns. He also took six carries for 59 yards.

Who has the edge in the QB battle entering Week 2 of the 2022 NFL preseason?

The focus will be on Ridder’s game-winning touchdown throw but he also looked shaky at times throughout the contest. Meanwhile, Mariota looked poised in the first drive and was efficient in marching his team down the field. The veteran will have the leg up heading into their Week 2 matchup at the Jets but the rookie certainly showed something on Friday,