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Need to Know: As always, rushing game will be key for Redskins vs. Falcons

Oct 11, 2015, 6:25 AM EDT

Jones-Cousins-vs.-Rams

ATLANTA—Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, October 11, the day the Washington Redskins play the Atlanta Falcons.

Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Falcons

—The Redskins have improved in some areas compared to last year but they are still an inefficient offense. They are second in the NFL with 383 yards per game but tied for 23rd with 19.5 points scored per game. It’s not fair to blame the offense alone; they start their average drive at their own 23.3 yard line, the second-worst starting field position in the league. This is where the lack of takeaways hurts them. The Redskins have three takeaways; only two teams have fewer.

—Adam Schefter reported this morning that Falcons WR Julio Jones will play against the Redskins today but there is “concern” about lingering hamstring issues. You have to think that even a hampered Jones can be effective against a Redskins secondary that will be playing without its top two corners. But it is something worth keeping an eye on as the game unfolds.

—The Falcons will be without leading tackler Justin Durant, who is out with an elbow injury. That should help the Redskins run the ball against a team that is 27th in the NFL allowing 4.4 yards per rushing attempt. Healthy or not, Jones can’t hurt them if he’s on the sideline.

—Tevin Coleman returns from a rib injury today and he will split time with Devonta Freeman. He picked up 112 yards in two games before getting injured and he will split time with Devonta Freeman. The Falcons have averaged just 3.7 yards per rushing attempt. You would think that the Redskins could take advantage of that since they are pretty good at stopping the run. But I don’t think the Falcons are at all scared of third and seven.

—I’m not sure if the Falcons are as good as their record says they are. They still have a lot of the same pieces that went 4-12 and 6-10 in the last two seasons. But even if the Falcons are underserving of being 4-0 they probably will be 5-0 at the end of the day today. This is a tall order for a Redskins team that has been even worse than the Falcons over the last two years. I don’t give them zero chance like some do and I do think that they will hang in for most of the game but their road woes (one win in their last 14 road games) are likely to continue.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins @ Falcons, 1 p.m., FOX

Days until: Redskins @ Jets 7; Bucs @ Redskins 14

  1. gonavybeatarmy - Oct 11, 2015 at 6:50 AM

    The rushing game will be the key. But just as important in this game will be redzone efficiency, and pressuring Ryan to create a TO or two.

    • sidepull - Oct 11, 2015 at 7:47 AM

      Getting touchdowns instead of field goals will help thats for sure. They are really going have to have a game, like the Cowboys game last year, where Nobody expected them to win, yea another one of those games. I just cant see them going score for score with Atlanta, not with all of the Redskins injuries. They are going to need some help, pressuring Ryan and creating some turnovers.

  2. troylok - Oct 11, 2015 at 7:39 AM

    Never underestimate the revenge factor. Kyle Shanahan had this date circled on his calendar as soon as the schedule came out. He will have his players fired up and Washington will need to find an answer for a team looking to get a big play early and take the wind out of their sails.

    Running the football might be the answer but I think Chris Thompson might have more success running to the outside than Jones or Morris will have up the middle. The pass rush can get to the QB and that should be objective number one on defense.

  3. mr.moneylover - Oct 11, 2015 at 9:31 AM

    Redskins gotta stop they rushing attack and we gotta run the ball and keep them off balance in our passing attack

  4. bangkokben - Oct 11, 2015 at 10:15 AM

    A big chance for the Redskins to assert themselves in the NFC East race. The Giants look to be the best team as they are two meltdowns away from being 4-0 but all of the division has lost to the dirty birds and this is a chance to go ahead in common games (14 of them and the 2nd tiebreaker) or at least atone for losing to the Dolphins. I don’t care how we get it done, just get it done. I’ll be happy if Ryan Kerrigan gets beat by ZERO bootlegs. Yeah, I’m calling out out best defender. Stay home on the stretch and subsequent bootlegs. If not look for Roddy White to have a big game.

  5. skinsgame - Oct 11, 2015 at 10:41 AM

    Penalties, 3rd down stops, time of possession, turnovers. If the Redskins have favorable results in those categories, they’ll upset Atlanta today. I refuse to use the Atlanta Football Team monicker because it’s disrespectful to birds.

    • murphsman - Oct 11, 2015 at 1:14 PM

      Good one

  6. Johnny B. - Oct 11, 2015 at 12:31 PM

    It’s almost time to introduce Robinson to the Falcons running backs. I think that they will remember him after today. Also pot roast needs to say hi to Matt with force. HTTR

  7. kenlinkins - Oct 11, 2015 at 12:32 PM

    Pro football Hall of Fame on Friday, Maryland vs. Ohio State on Saturday (& meeting Jermaine Cater Jr.’s family walking to the Shoe), and the Redskins on Sunday (on TV). If the Redskins defense can get a pass rush going early and maybe get a few turn overs they will be able to play with the Falcons. I have been wrong so often this year on the Redskins that I will say the Falcons win 33-17 (but in my heart hope that the Redskins win 27 -20).

  8. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Oct 11, 2015 at 1:39 PM

    Nice. Drive. Picked up 4th and 1, and then a TD to Carrier.
    !!!
    ~

  9. kenlinkins - Oct 11, 2015 at 2:36 PM

    Not a bad half of football by the Redskins. Defense has Two turn overs, Special teams have not tried to give the game away. Now if the Redskins can get the jump on the Falcon’s to start the second half! Redskins have a shot!

  10. Johnny B. - Oct 11, 2015 at 3:17 PM

    Why in the world does our coaches keep getting off the game plan. Stop putting pressure on Cousins.

  11. goback2rfk - Oct 11, 2015 at 4:41 PM

    Brutal heart breaking loss. Stupid play at the end. Should of never tried that ball. fuckkk!

    • Johnny B. - Oct 11, 2015 at 4:51 PM

      The one thing that you know is that Kirk is here to stay. He is getting better every week and made good calls all day. That last pic was on him and Grant, more Grant than Kirk. The first pic was on Garson but we lost but getting better.

    • gasngo14 - Oct 11, 2015 at 5:50 PM

      F BOMB …REALLY?

      • goback2rfk - Oct 11, 2015 at 6:04 PM

        How could you not F BOMB after that game. They should of easily won that game. They had so many chances its not even funny! Redskins make a grown man want to cry.

        • gasngo14 - Oct 11, 2015 at 6:09 PM

          NO need for that on here :)

    • goback2rfk - Oct 11, 2015 at 6:08 PM

      I tried to delete the F-BOMB but I dont know how and it wont let me.

  12. ericstylezz - Oct 11, 2015 at 5:01 PM

    Let me guess, Kirk not taking sacks is somehow better than a pick 6 to end the game

    • gasngo14 - Oct 11, 2015 at 5:08 PM

      LET me tell you…..RIP BOB :)

      • goback2rfk - Oct 11, 2015 at 5:28 PM

        Suit Rob back up, seen enough of the back up Kirk Cousins. Rg3! Rg3!! Rg3!!!

        • hail74 - Oct 11, 2015 at 5:48 PM

          Get over it and move on.

  13. kenlinkins - Oct 11, 2015 at 5:42 PM

    OK, who blames Cousins for the lost? Who blames the O-Line for only getting 50 yards on the ground on 23 tries? Who blames the coach and the play calls? Who blames Grant for falling down? Who blames the defense for the last Falcons drive to take the lead? And who says that RG3 would have won the game if he was given a chance to play? IMO this was the first true team lost I have seen in a while from the Redskins and is in fact just another step in becoming a winning team. Learning that sometimes not having your best requires someone making a winning play (i.e. see Falcon pick six at end of game) to over come sub par results most of the day. Next phase, winning a game like this by being the team that makes the last big play. This team is still getting better and I am disappointed with the lost, I am not mad at any section of the team and THAT is a big change from the last few years.

  14. Johnny B. - Oct 11, 2015 at 6:32 PM

    You know now Cousins is here to stay. That was the best game that I have seen in years. It would have been better with a victory. But Cousins is still learning also the best chance to win. Look we could be like the Cowboys with Weeden. No hope for that team until Romo comes back. A lot of plays did not go the way they needed to win with no deep threat. Think about it 9+starters out with minor and season ending injuries. Two of our best cb and all of our te’s. Also no Dejax and we almost brought home a victory. Last years team would have been a blow out 50 to 0.HTTR

    • hail74 - Oct 11, 2015 at 7:01 PM

      Not trying to say moral victory or anything like that but I loved the fact that the team never quit. Shows that they believe they are improving. I agree too that cousins is here to stay in some capacity. San Fran and Seattle were at their best with even cap distribution and coincidentally now that their Qbs are taking up more of that cap they are floundering.

    • gasngo14 - Oct 11, 2015 at 7:31 PM

      Agree, this team is making the turn around and doing it with so many young players makes it that much better!
      We have lost many players who were to be our play makers on both sides of the ball and are still fighting like hungry wolves every game for 4 quarters …LOVE IT!!!!

      • goback2rfk - Oct 11, 2015 at 8:52 PM

        I am glad you are so happy when the team loses. You must be elated beyond belief when they Win.
        Moral victory Monday!! Woo Hooooo!

        • gasngo14 - Oct 11, 2015 at 9:03 PM

          I am happy to see this team fight for 60 mins and not to mention with so many younger players! I can be happy if i choose too, unlike you i like the direction this team looks to be headed :)

        • Johnny B. - Oct 12, 2015 at 4:03 AM

          Some times a moral victory is as sweet as a win Expecially when you are a Redskins fan

        • hail74 - Oct 11, 2015 at 9:28 PM

          No one thought that this team was going to realistically finish above .500 this year because we just don’t have the talent at enough positions. What we do have are some guys who are actually coming together as a team, and atmosphere of accountability. Guys who did not quit today when it would have been easy on the road against an undefeated team. If you can’t appreciate the progress being made then fine, don’t, but consider that not too many teams go 3-13, 4-12 then Super Bowl champ so perhaps you should just find a better way to spend your Sunday’s until the bandwagon heats up.

      • goback2rfk - Oct 11, 2015 at 11:07 PM

        I am pleased with the direction the team is going for sure. No arguments there. Although after the last 2 seasons can the direction of the team be anything other than up?! Scott will fix this mess once and for all I hope. Can not wait till the injury prone Jackson and Reid get back also. Would love to see what Jackson can do vs. that Jets secondary before that hammy tightens up on him again. Maybe work some intermediate routes before they send him on a burner. Back to .500 next week! httr!

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Oct 11, 2015 at 7:59 PM

      Glad we showed that much fight. Who thought we’d come back with just 28 seconds to tie it?

      Really hurt to lose after that, though.
      ~

      • goback2rfk - Oct 11, 2015 at 8:54 PM

        One of the most painful losses I have seen in awhile. They gave the Falcons so many chances. Who would of thought they would have 2 INT’s and a fumble on Matty Ice and still lose.

  15. squawonthewarpath - Oct 11, 2015 at 10:44 PM

    While I am disappointed about the loss today it wasn’t the big blow out that so many predicted and expected. What surprised me was how the team essentially hung with the Falcons throughout the entire game with so many of our starters out. The young guns on the team are playing extremely well and while the loss really hurts it was good to see just how competitive this team really is, even when depleted.

    • goback2rfk - Oct 11, 2015 at 10:55 PM

      They fought hard and could have iced that game several times. Its not that they hung in there against the Falcons they were in position to win the game several times during the game. Oh well, were moving on to the Jets. Maybe get it back to .500

  16. goback2rfk - Oct 11, 2015 at 11:37 PM

    Dang 49ers almost had them. Giants take the lead in the NFC Least.

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