Washington Redskins Keys to the Game: Atlanta Falcons

October 5, 2012 in NFL

Washington Redskins Keys to the Game:

1. Control the Clock:

-In week one versus the Saints, the Washington Redskins held the ball for nearly 40 minutes, which proved to be the team's best defense versus New Orleans high powered offense. The Redskins need to do the same thing this week if they hope to slow down the Atlanta Falcons and all of their offensive weapons.The best way for them to do that is a repeat of their Saints game plan of running the football. Against New Orleans the Redskins ran the ball over 60% of the time, which ate up the clock. They will need a similar number if they hope to keep Matt Ryan off the field as much as possible.

2. Get Pressure on Matt Ryan:

-Now last week Matt Ryan showed that he is talented enough to succeed even when under heavy pressure, which would make you think he minimizes the effect of the pass rush. The opposite is true though as the only times when Ryan actually look human were when he was under pressure. The Falcons offensive line has struggled this season somewhat to keep guys away from their quarterback. The Redskins pass rush has disappeared at times in games, which is something they can't afford to have happen this time. Ryan Kerrigan has been pretty good getting after the quarterback, but for the most part the rest of the team has been quiet, which needs to change. Stephen Bowen and Chris Wilson especially need to step it up to offer a competent option to Kerrigan.

3. Protect Robert Griffin III-

-The Falcons are going to look to bring some pressure of their own and ensure that Robert Griffin III doesn't feel comfortable back there. When Griffin has time to throw, he's absolutely dangerous back there, but when he faces some pressure he's either forced to scramble or dump the ball off, ending drives. This is what both the Rams and Bengals (especially) were able to do so well, which led to the passing game not being as effective. The Washington Redskins also need to keep minimizing the number of hits that Robert Griffin is taking, to help keep him around for all 16 games.

4. No Special Teams Miscues:

-The Redskins have had major special teams errors in three out of four games this season, and it has cost them. The punting has been better and there hasn't been a blocked put from the Rams game, but this has to be a concern area. In the return game Brandon Banks may not be able to play, though hopefully that will lead to better decision making in returns. Also that should lessen the chance of a fumble on a return, which has been a major issue for Brandon Banks. Sure their cahnces of a big return may have gone down slightly, but that is a small price to pay if it avoids any really poor returns/fumbles. Lastly kicker Billy Cundiff needs a big redemption game. Yes it could be poor weather conditions on Sunday, but the Redskins can't afford to miss out on any points to a team like the Falcons. If he's attempting a field goal he has to connect, if the Redskins have any hope of winning this game.


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  • http://fanspeak.com/members/robyunich/ Rob Yunich

    This could get really ugly if they can't control the clock and/or their defense continues to struggle.

    • http://fanspeak.com/members/steveospeak/ Steve Shoup

      Agreed, they can't hope to win a shootout, have to keep the Falcons off the field with their strong rushing attack.

      • BigDaddyTM

        I agree that they want to break out the game plan used in week one but why can't they win a shoot out? Not the preferred way to do it but I can see them winning one…There are three parts to our offense that we really haven't seen yet that I am looking for going forward : the regular screen game (ran for the first and only time last week), the bend play (a natural extension of the zone stretch that hasn't been utilized on purpose since Shanny has been in DC but, with Griff at QB, could be very effective with him rolling to the side of the run, and the vertical stretch of the field using Niles from the TE position tight to the line and/or behind the line between the tackle and guard.

        Atlanta, by virtue of their players, are ripe for one or all three of these phases of the game. All three phases are read/strike type plays which slow down a fast defense. What does this mean? Big plays are to be had by this offense against their defense if we are willing to attempt them.

        • http://fanspeak.com/members/steveospeak/ Steve Shoup

          the thing in the shootout is usually the least worst defense will win the game, and that likely isn't going to be the Redskins. Sure anything can happen, but in a shootout our chances are significantly less.