There’s been some chatter about Desmond Ridder maybe challenging for the starting job in Atlanta, but I don’t know that it really matters. I don’t think there’s any chance of Marcus Mariota playing the full season.

If Mariota doesn’t play well enough, he’ll be pulled at some point. If we accept that as a truth, it becomes truth to draw up a scenario where Mariota can put up enough yards, points and wins to string together 17 consecutive games. Arthur Smith, recall, was a member of the coaching staff that benched Mariota a few years ago.

And Mariota also looks like a candidate for an injury. Atlanta doesn’t have much of an offensive line, and he’s got a history of locking up when pressured.

In the last four years, 49 quarterbacks have attempted at least 500 passes. Of that group, Mariota has been sacked the most frequently – on over 11 percent of his pass plays.

Ridder played a lot of ball at Cincinnati, and he’s advised to hit the playbook and keep his arm loose. He’ll definitely be starting some games.

SACK RATES (last 4 years)
1.Andrew Luck639182.7%
2.Drew Brees1,257423.2%
3.Tom Brady2,512913.5%
4.Ben Roethlisberger1,950773.8%
5.Patrick Mahomes2,310933.9%
6.Drew Lock710334.4%
7.Justin Herbert1,267634.7%
8.Jared Goff2,2331134.8%
9.Philip Rivers1,642854.9%
10.Trevor Lawrence602325.0%
11.Mac Jones521285.1%
12.Nick Mullens630365.4%
13.Tua Tagovailoa678405.6%
14.Case Keenum915545.6%
15.Josh Allen1,9991185.6%
16.Nick Foles659395.6%
17.Aaron Rodgers2,2231355.7%
18.Dak Prescott1,9401195.8%
19.Joe Flacco817515.9%
20.Kirk Cousins2,1271356.0%
21.Mitchell Trubisky1,255806.0%
22.Matthew Stafford1,9751266.0%
23.Derek Carr2,2091466.2%
24.Teddy Bridgewater1,137766.3%
25.Kyler Murray1,5811066.3%
26.Jalen Hurts580396.3%
27.Ryan Fitzpatrick1,021696.3%
28.Andy Dalton1,4621006.4%
29.Baker Mayfield1,9241346.5%
30.Jacoby Brissett684486.6%
31.Matt Ryan2,4101716.6%
32.Eli Manning723526.7%
33.Taylor Heinicke570416.7%
34.Cam Newton1,054766.7%
35.Jameis Winston1,176876.9%
36.Gardner Minshew857657.0%
37.Alex Smith580447.1%
38.Carson Wentz1,9611507.1%
39.Jimmy Garoppolo1,146897.2%
40.Lamar Jackson1,3291067.4%
41.Sam Darnold1,6251337.6%
42.Daniel Jones1,2681057.6%
43.Ryan Tannehill1,5721378.0%
44.Kyle Allen626558.1%
45.Joe Burrow924838.2%
46.Russell Wilson1,9011798.6%
47.Deshaun Watson1,5441559.1%
48.Josh Rosen5136110.6%
49.Marcus Mariota5216711.4%

—Ian Allan