I'll get to the ground game in more detail soon, because it's clear to anyone with two eyes and a pulse that the Redskins are going to try to run all over the Falcons. That may well be the most important thing for the Falcons to gameplan for, but you can't ignore Robert Griffin.
To learn more about what Griffin has done well, I turned to Hogs Haven. The article that caught my eye was chiefly concerned with Griffin's tendency to hang in the pocket and the way the coaching staff has tried to avoid having him throw the deep ball thus far, both of which are eminently exploitable weaknesses for the Falcons.
Let's start with the hanging in the pocket. As Redskins fans and several of you have noted, Griffin has taken way too many hits already. His mobility, his quick release and his ability to find the open man appears to have convinced him that he can hang in and get the ball off milliseconds before he takes a hit and still complete the pass. It's worked out pretty well for him so far, but I don't have to tell you why this is something the Falcons can use against him.
With confusing fronts, even the most veteran quarterback is going to need to hesitate and process what's in front of him. Nolan's best bet is to rush a handful of guys on the edges to try to get to Griffin's blind spot, disguise his coverage and then try to deploy tight coverage near the line. The idea would be to give RGIII pause while he looks for the target he wants and nail him before he feels the rush coming. As good as he is, he's still a rookie, and the fact that he doesn't instinctively throw the ball away when the pressure's on gives the pass rush a good chance to force him into a turnover or two.
Second, take advantage of the fact that Griffin is not being asked to throw the deep ball often, and hasn't been particularly successful when he's asked to. His only interception of the year came on a long shot to Leonard Hankerson, and the coaching staff has deliberately limited the number of times he's being asked to make that throw. Again, the talent to do so is there, but he's still a rookie learning the game to some extent.
So again: Let the safeties do what they do on deep passes, plan to cover mostly short-to-intermediate routes and keep Griffin hanging in that pocket. Besides a 25 yard scramble, what could possibly go wrong?
Your thoughts on this (probably overly simplified) plan to stonewall Griffin?