It's four weeks into the season and while the Falcons are 4-0, it hasn't been easy. Atlanta has defeated four quarterbacks with Pro Bowls on their resume so far this season and while it ends this week, their opponent is no less exciting or daunting. Washington's rookie QB Robert Griffin III was expected to make a splash this season after being a first-round pick and the second QB taken in the draft, but how competitive he's made the Redskins this early in the season has been a little surprising.
Not unlike Atlanta's opponent last week, Cam Newton, RGIII combines a strong downfield arm with game-changing mobility and speed. On his way to helping the Redskins to a 2-2 mark on the season, the rookie has put together four solid games and compiled a 103.2 QB rating, tops among NFL rookies and fourth overall in the entire league. Griffin is completing 69 percent of his passes and his 252 rush yards and four touchdowns are tops among all NFL quarterbacks. In fact, his four rushing TDs are tied for the most of any player in the NFL.
Against Griffin, the Falcons will look to continue to feature looks on defense that confound QBs and force turnovers. Griffin has only thrown one interception this season, but what he faces in Atlanta's D may be his stiffest challenge to date. The Falcons' seven interceptions ranks third in the NFL and their 10 turnover margin is tops in the league. Under Mike Smith, when the Falcons win the turnover battle, Atlanta is 31-2.
The Falcons' own QB,
Atlanta last faced the Redskins in 2009, a 31-17 win. The Falcons have won two straight against the Redskins dating back to 2006. The Redskins hold the all-time edge between the two franchises with a 14-6-1 record.
Although slowed by a hand injury in the last two games,
Against Washington's tough run defense (89 yards per game allowed),