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Falcons 23 - Washington 17

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Washington Redskins v Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan’s night was terrible.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Falcons... win? That sounds weird but maybe this breakdown should help explain why.

First Quarter

  • The run defense looked sharp almost immediately, but the pass defense needed some help from holding calls and Washington shakiness to look good.
  • The offense and special teams were anemic almost immediately. The offense was backed up to the one yard line, there were two special teams penalties, and the offense swiftly went three and out. It’s too early to read much into that, obviously, but we were all hoping for better.
  • Things didn’t get any better on the next drive for the offense, as they swiftly went three and out again. The defense, however, forced a quick three and out of their own shortly after, with Sean Weatherspoon looking very good.
  • The Falcons closed out the first quarter with Matt Schaub completing two consecutive passes to Mohamed Sanu, which was...sort of lyrical.

Second Quarter

  • Matt Schaub set the world on fire. Sure, he was playing against Washington’s backups, but he was moving around a muddy pocket and striking deep passes to Aldrick Robinson like it was his job. OK, I guess it could be considered his job, but it was very impressive.
  • Aldrick Robinson was considered a roster long-shot when he was signed, but he probably cemented the spot after Justin Hardy. Robinson was dominant against backups and could easily be Atlanta’s situational deep-threat starting week one.
  • Big Brandon Wilds came out of nowhere to be a punishing force between the tackles. He was frequently injured in college but could be Atlanta’s third back if he stays healthy.
  • De’Vondre Campbell was the entire defense. He’s good.

Third Quarter

  • J.D McKissic, the most talked about player this offseason, started off the second half by scoring a 101 yard kick return.
  • The defensive rookies were looking good. Campbell and Deion Jones could out-physical Dan Quinn after three Red Bulls.
  • Sean Renfree is no Matt Schaub (but that’s an impossibly high standard for anyone), but he did well.

Fourth Quarter

  • Not going to lie, I think half of these guys still out there have only played football once or twice before. We are deep into third and fourth string players.
  • Jeff Triplette must call more flags than any referee in NFL history. No time has passed in the last 45 minutes, there is nothing but bad, meaningless football, and the Falcons just gave up a touchdown to Washington’s 6th round rookie quarterback.
  • Matt Simms will never be Chris Simms, but he had a decent run because no one ever expected him to run the ball.
  • Nordly Capri came unblocked off the edge but made one QUICK sack on whoever is Washington’s 5th string quarterback.
  • Triplette just penalized a guy who hasn’t played for nearly three hours.
  • Brandon Wilds was awesome all game before getting a nasty face mask.
  • Triplette is calling delay of games with three minutes left in a preseason game.
  • Gus Johnson dreams he can be half as effective as Brandon Wilds.
  • Falcons backup kicker missed a field goal but Triplette stopped the game for five minutes to call a flag. The next kick at five yards closer: wiiiiide left.
  • Rookie LB Ivan McClennan finished off the game with a quality sack. He should earn a bit more play time.