The game will feature the NFL’s most prolific rushing attack, as the Washington Redskins’ 175.5 rushing yards per game average ranks first in the league. Washington’s Quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris are each tied for the league lead in rushing touchdowns with four. Griffin III and Morris are the first pair of rookie teammates in NFL history to each rush for four touchdowns over their team’s first four games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Washington is ranked 3rd in total offense and the Falcons are ranked 15th. Both teams will enter Sunday’s game with Quarterbacks that have been on fire through the first four weeks of football. Matt Ryan has the highest passer rating in league (112.1) and Griffin III has the third highest rating (103.2).
Atalanta is ranked 16th in total defense, while Washington is ranked towards the bottom of the league – 29th. Defense will be key in this match-up for both teams, especially with the projected weather forecast being in the mid 50’s with a great chance of rain.
Last week, the Falcons had a late 4th quarter comeback victory against the Carolina Panthers, where they had an opportunity to face a mobile QB in Cam Newton. While that could help the Falcons prepare for Robert Griffin III, it would be naive on their behalf to expect a similar performance from Griffin III.
Newton left a lot of plays on the field and missed a ton of opportunities to pick apart the Falcons secondary. Although Griffin III is a rookie, he’s proven over the course of this season that he is more than capable of quickly going through progressions and deciphering coverages.
The Falcons would be wise not to draw up many blitzes against Griffin III – teams have been skeptical about sending blitzes his way, because he’s capable of taking advantage of them.
On the other side of the football, Washington’s secondary must limit the Falcons receiving trio – Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez. The Falcons love to attack safeties by moving White around and throwing intermediate routes between the numbers. They are not a “lethal” offense, however, and the Redskins must be sound in coverage – having a “bend not break” mentality. Washington’s defense can afford to allow the Falcons matriculate the ball between the 20’s, but they can’t allow the big plays.
In all, this should be a great football game. The inclement weather could play a part in how these teams operate, and the game could very well come down to the team that’s able to have success on the ground.