The Falcons are near the bottom of the league in rushing yards allowed, with well over 500 through four games. Part of this is a function of playing out of the nickel and part of it is simply playing against quality running teams (Denver, Carolina, Kansas City). Either way, it's a definite weakness that other teams will merrily exploit if they're able.
The Redskins are able. So far the ground game alone hasn't been enough to beat the Falcons, but if it also sets up the pass it's bad news birds. Let's take a closer look at why the Redskins are dangerous on the ground and why that might be a big problem.
- Alfred Morris. All the young back has done is run for 376 yards on only 82 carries, a 4.6 YPC average, and score four touchdowns. He's got speed, agility and quality power, and the Redskins offensive line is a good run-blocking unit. He's going to give the Falcons fits, even if he's not really a threat as a receiver thus far. He's the Redskins' primary weapon on the ground.
- Robert Griffin III. Having run 41 times already for 234 yards and 5.7 yards per carry, Griffin is just as dangerous as Morris, and arguably more so because of the element of unpredictability. The Falcons have to be careful not to rush Griffin and flush him out of the pocket just to watch him scramble for ten yards.
- The Rest. Roy Helu has barely been used, but remains a home run threat. Evan Royster has been effective in extremely limited snaps.
Just as the Falcons have a wealth of weapons through the air, so too do the Redskins on the ground. The key will not be to stop the Redskins entirely—they couldn't do it against the Panthers, so I doubt they can here—but to limit the damage and not let Griffin get a good rhythm going in the passing game. If they can hold the Redskins to about 100 yards and force a couple of turnovers, this is a winnable game.
How do you feel about the Redskins ground game?