Sunday, October 7, 2012
How you feeling? Redskins-Falcons
By Dan Graziano
As the Washington Redskins prepare to host the 4-0 Atlanta Falcons at 1 pm ET on Sunday, here's one reason for Redskins fans to be feeling good and one reason for concern.
Feeling good: There is a chance the Redskins will be able to run the kind of clock-control offense they like to run in this game. Atlanta ranks 29th in the league so far this year against the run, allowing 146.3 yards per game on the ground in spite of having led for 78.3 percent of their game time. (h/t, ESPN Stats & Information) The Redskins are averaging 171 yards per game in rushing offense, which is second-best in the league, behind rookie running back Alfred Morris and rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. When Washington has the ball, no matter what the score is, they should be able to gain yards with it against the Falcons' defense.
Cause for concern: When the Redskins do not have the ball, they could be in large amounts of trouble. In spite of leading for 78.3 percent of their game time so far this year, the Falcons have still dropped back to pass on 66.1 percent of their plays, ESPN Stats & Info tells me. New offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is determined to maximize and rely on the strengths of quarterback Matt Ryan, wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones and tight end Tony Gonzalez, and so far this season those guys have rewarded him. Ryan's passer rating is a league-best 112.1, and the lowest it's been in any game so far this year is 101.5 in Week 2 against Denver. The Redskins are shaky in the secondary, and you can bet the Falcons are prepared to take aim.