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What to Watch for in Week 9


Field Goals

It's no secret the Redskins offense is struggling. The Redskins rank 24th in overall offense and 29th in points per game. But rankings don't tell the complete story. They have played in two games this season without scoring a touchdown and, worst of all, those two games were against opponents ranked in the bottom six teams in the league in defense. The Redskins have made it into the red zone 19 times only to leave with points six times. The bottom line is the Redskin offense is not scoring too many points. The one bright side, Washington is 9-for-9 on field goals on the year. If, the Falcons defense continues to play strong in the red zone (opponents score 70 percent of the time) the Redskins will continue to score by three's.


The Falcons defense does not rank high overall (29th in yards per game and at 16th in points allowed per game), but Atlanta has done more than the numbers show. Last week the defense turned in four turnovers against the top-ranked offense in the NFL and returned one of those turnovers for a touchdown. As the season continues the Falcons defense seems to improve. With exception of the Dallas game the Falcons defense has held opponents to under 14 points in the second half and only given up one touchdown in each of those five games. Look for the Falcon defense to continue improving and take the ball away from the Redskins, a team who has fumbled the ball away 8 times this season.

2nd Quarter Excitment

As the Falcons 2009 season comes to the halfway point there is one stat that tells the story of the season thus far: The second quarter. The Falcons are 4-3 heading into Week 9 and the outcome of the second quarter has determined every game. In the Falcons three losses they have been outscored 48 to seven. In the Falcons four wins they have outscored their opponents 49 to 20. In two of the three losses touchdowns scored just before the half affected the games drastically. If the Falcons can win the second quarter they will get Head Coach Mike Smith's eleventh win in the Georgia Dome and send the struggling Redskins packing.

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