Ridley had a team-high seven receptions for 146 yards and three touchdowns, but the Falcons fell short in overtime against New Orleans by the score of 43-37 on Sunday. With his explosive performance Sunday afternoon against the Saints, Ridley becomes the first rookie receiver since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2014 to record three touchdown receptions in a single game. The No. 26 pick had 100 receiving yards by halftime, largely due to a 75-yard touchdown catch with two minutes to go in the second quarter -- Atlanta's longest play of the season to date. Ridley and the Falcons' high-powered passing offense take on the Bengals in Week 4, and a secondary that allows 282 passing yards per game.
Head coach Dan Quinn ensured that Ridley is going to be a more integral part of the Falcons' offensive game plan moving forward, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. "Every game he should be a factor, not just because Freeman is going to miss this one," Quinn said Friday. "For sure, we are anticipating him being a bigger part of the offense." Ridley will look to notch his first regular-season reception Sunday against the Panthers after being shut out on two targets Week 1 against Philadelphia. The No. 26 pick has a tough matchup forthcoming against a Carolina secondary that only allowed one Cowboys receiver to exceed 27 receiving yards in the season opener.
Ridley faces a Panthers defense in Week 2 that allowed just 138 yards passing in Week 1. Ridley played 45 of the offense's 70 snaps in Atlanta's Week 1 loss at Philadelphia and was targeted just two times with no receptions. The No. 26 overall pick earned a spot as one of Atlanta's kick returners, but was largely uninvolved in the team's Week 1 offensive game plan. Even though Carolina had success against a poor Dallas pass offense, Atlanta will be at home on a fast field, so Ridley should get more involved in Week 2.
Ridley played just four snaps, all on special teams, in Sunday's 21-21 tie against the Browns. There was some question as to who the primary back-up to James Conner would be with Le'Veon Bell (contract dispute) still holding out. It turned out to be no one, as Conner was the only running back to carry the ball all game and did an outstanding job, despite a costly late fumble. Pittsburgh tends to lean heavily on their primary runner, so Ridley's role seems limited for the time being.
Ridley was targeted by Matt Ryan on two occasions, but failed to record a reception during the Falcons' 18-12 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday night. The No. 26 overall pick earned a spot as one of Atlanta's kick returners, but was largely uninvolved in the team's Week 1 offensive game plan. Ridley had a chance to pick up an important first-down catch during the fourth quarter, but was popped by an Eagles defender and unable to haul in the pass. Going up against a Carolina defense that surrendered the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers in standard scoring last year, the rookie wideout will look to get right Week 2.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|6||10/14||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||26||28.00|
|7||10/23||New York Giants||12||20.00|
|12||11/23||@New Orleans Saints||32||46.67|
|14||12/09||@Green Bay Packers||25||27.67|
|17||12/30||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||26||28.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||0||0||0||0||0||0.00||0|