The Redskins secondary has struggled to stop every passing offense they have faced this season, and Sunday they are in for their toughest test by far. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez are all elite level players and difference makers on the offensive side of the football. They will get their yards and they will put up points against a Redskins secondary that has allowed the second most yards in the NFL. This is the first game the Redskins are playing this season where it looks to be over before it even begins. If the Redskins offense doesn’t control the clock and the ball then this one could get out of hand.
The good news for the Redskins is that because of Alfred Morris and RGIII they have the best rushing offense in the NFL having rushed for 702 yards on the season. The Redskins have to hope to keep possession of the football as long as possible and come away with the scores at the end of drives in order to keep Matt Ryan and the rest of the Falcons offense on the sidelines. The Atlanta punter could very well have a week off against the Redskins as it is doubtful that the Redskins will manage very man stops against the Falcons.
With the Falcons having the fourth worst rushing defense in the NFL having allowed 146.3 yards a game on the ground the Redskins should be able to execute this game plan, and if the previous weeks have taught Redskins fans anything it is not to count out RGIII. Robert Griffin III ranks in the top half of the NFL in many important statistical categories, but it is his ability to both pass and run that makes him a dynamic offensive player. The threat of his running will force linebackers to zero in on him and leave a man open underneath while his passing ability makes it hard for the opposing team to bring a safety down to help stop the run leaving a wide receiver in one on one coverage and making them vulnerable to the deep ball.
With Peirre Garcon’s improved health RGIII should have more options in the passing game, but the Falcons defense has allowed the eighth fewest yards per game of any passing defense in the NFL, and having played Cam Newton last week they will be well prepared for a duel threat QB like RGIII. Again the Redskins best hope in this game is to keep the ball on the ground, work the clock, and keep the Falcons offense off the field. It is a slim hope but it is hope, and with a player like RGIII the Redskins will not be out of any game they play this season.
A lot of hype and praise have been levied at RGIII so far in this season, but another rookie deserves quite a bit of praise as well. Alfred Morris has given the Redskins the every down back they have been looking for since Clinton Portis left. Morris ranks fifth in the NFL in yards and is averaging 4.6 yards a carry. Without Alfred Morris the Redskins offense would be one dimensional except for the times RGIII runs the ball. With Morris in the backfield along with RGIII it gives multiple running looks and keeps the defense from being able to key in on just one running threat.
The Redskins will have to be on the top of their game to win this one. Upsets happen every week in the NFL and this game has as good a chance as any of being one, but it isn’t likely. The already weak secondary of the Redskins is starting to get beat up and Matt Ryan and crew will be able to take advantage of that. This could be a long day for the Redskins, but those watching the game should take pleasure in getting to see RGIII for yet another week.