The Falcons are so banged up it’s almost laughable at this point, as they’re randomly down Robert Alford coming out of a bye week that was supposed to help them get healthy. But we can’t wallow too much, because the Falcons have won two in a row and other teams have plenty of injuries to deal with.
Case in point: Washington, this week’s opponent for the Falcons, who will be down their star left tackle, a terrific receiving back who might have been able to eat against this Atlanta defense, and one of their more useful wide receivers. Without Trent Williams, Jamison Crowder and Chris Thompson, an already weak offense will be further diminished, which does help the Falcons a great deal.
The Redskins will be without Trent Williams, Jamison Crowder and Chris Thompson on Sunday.— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) November 2, 2018
The loss of Trent Williams is most significant, as it will give Takkarist McKinley a far easier matchup as he attempts to flatten Alex Smith. Williams is one of the league’s best left tackles, an asset both in pass protection and as a run blocker, and losing him hurts an offense that already was not among the league’s best. Thompson and Crowder haven’t been huge factors this year—Crowder hasn’t played in weeks—but both are useful players, and Thompson in particular might have posed a problem for an Atlanta front seven that isn’t great against the run but showed impressive resolve against Saquon Barkley last time out. Atlanta’s offense should do pretty well, but neutering this Washington offense entirely is still going to be one of the best ways to win on the road.
Ideally, we’d be getting a matchup between these two teams at full strength, but as we know all too well, it doesn’t work like that. Look for Atlanta to focus most of their energy on stopping Adrian Peterson and forcing Alex Smith to win the game himself.