If last week's Panthers game presented a tough test for Atlanta's run defense, Week 5's tilt against the Redskins is equally daunting, if not more so. Exciting rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III has used his strong arm and sprinter's speed to get the 'Skins out to a 2-2 start using head coach Mike Shanahan's creative offensive scheme for the young QB. Atlanta's offense will score points, but the defense needs to bring their running shoes against Washington.
Falcons Run Defense vs. Redskins Zone-Blocking Scheme
With RGIII under center, the Redskins are a threat to run on every snap. Shanahan has given his quarterback an offensive scheme specifically designed for his unique skills. Washington's rushing attack is tops in the league, averaging 175 yards a game. Atlanta's run defense allowed Carolina 199 yards on the ground last week and they've allowed their opponents an average of 146 yards per game this season. A Falcons win will begin and end with some stops in the running game on Sunday.
Redskins Outside Pass Rush vs. Falcons Tackles
The Redskins aren't sacking the quarterback a ton (only seven sacks this season) entering this matchup with the Falcons, but the Panthers weren't either last week. When the dust settled after the comeback win, Falcons QB
The Redskins have had their struggles against the pass this season. Their 326 yards allowed per game is ranked 31st in the league and DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson will have their hands full this week. Against the Panthers last week, Jones was doubled by the defense and White made them pay to the tune of eight catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns. If the Redskins run game is the top priority for the Falcons, the passing game of Atlanta is the top priority for Washington. Either Jones or White, or both, can torch the Redskins and a big day from either will be a big part of an Atlanta victory.
Falcons LinebackersDefeating the Redskins and what they do on offense could rest squarely on the broad shoulders of the three Falcons linebackers.