What is there left to say about RG3? Soon as you think this guy is going to have a bad week and regress, all he does is lead his team into field goal range to steal another win for the Washington Redskins. He is undoubtedly the most talked about player of this young season. There is still plenty of time remaining, so it will be interesting to see if RG3 and the Redskins can keep these good vibes going deep into the year. The Redskins are only 2-2, but it feels like 4-0 considering what RG3 has accomplished. They’ll be facing a formidable opponent in week 5, the Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons haven’t shocked the world exactly, but this is what many have expected from this team for the last several years. They have always had the talent, but being known as underachievers has been a recurring theme. So far, they appear to be a team that could make it all the way to the Super Bowl. Not only have they been winning games, but they have been playing with a ton of confidence en route to a 4-0 start. There most recent win was against the Carolina Panthers, a 30-28 thriller. Cam Newton and RG3 are similar in a sense, so it will be back-to-back weeks the Falcons will see a quarterback with the same style of play. The defense didn’t have much of an answer for Newton, as he passed for 215 yards and ran for an additional 86 yards. He finished the day with three touchdowns, two through the air and one with his legs. The Falcons defense through the first four weeks has compiled a pretty average stat line, falling in the middle at 15th allowing 353 yards per game. Defending the run is where the Falcons really have issues, allowing 146 yards per game on the ground.
This is a glaring weakness that scares me with the Falcons going into this game. The Redskins possess a two heading monster on the ground in this respect. Nobody expected the Redskins to have such a potent running attack, but RG3 combined with rookie Alfred Morris have been quite impressive. If you haven’t been following the Redskins much, you are probably wondering who the heck Alfred Morris is. Morris is a rookie sixth-rounder out of Florida Atlantic, an afterthought amongst most teams. However, Morris is currently leading all rookie running backs with 376 yards and 4 touchdowns. Combined with Griffin’s running ability, the Redskins are 2nd in the NFL with 176 yards per game rushing. People knew Griffin had some scrambling ability, but I don’t believe anybody predicted this.
Unfortunately for the Redskins they are going to need to continue to put up monster numbers if they are going to want to win games consistently. The defense is absolutely atrocious, primarily against the pass where they are allowing 326.2 yards per game; good enough for second to last in the NFL, only trailing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Redskins did a fine job containing the ever so inconsistent Josh Freeman last week, but they still have gotten torched by the Saints, Rams, and Bengals. The one being understandable, however, they still have failed to hold a team under 20 points in 2012 nevertheless. The Falcons offense could be compared with the Saints high octane attack, and they allowed 40 points in that affair. Atlanta is spearheaded by a passing game that has gone from good to the elite level this season. Led by quarterback Matt Ryan, the Falcons score a whopping 31 points per game. Receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones are turning into an impressive duo, and running back Michael Turner provides an ample running attack.
Falcons vs. Redskins Spread and Betting Odds:
Atlanta Falcons -3 (-115)
@Washington Redskins +3 (-105)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Falcons vs. Redskins Pick:
If you read the preview I provided above, it may be clear where I am leaning in this game. What we have in this one is some of the best offenses in certain categories, going up against the worst defenses. For instance, against the run the Falcons are 30th while the Redskins are 2nd running the ball. Meanwhile, the Redskins are 31st against the pass facing a red hot Falcons offense that is putting up 31 points a game. The Redskins have already been killed through the air by below average passing games in Sam Bradford and Andy Dalton.
While the Redskins didn’t miss safety Brandon Merriweather much last week against the Buccaneers after the pregame mishap, I think they will miss him dearly against a Matt Ryan led offense. Ryan will find holes in the Redskins defense and exploit them. I fully expect both offenses to have their way with the opposing defenses. It should make for an entertaining affair.
PICK = OVER 50.5