Although the Falcons got their first win of the season last week against the Giants, that was about as uneventful of a performance that I’ve seen in quite some time. The initial three quarters were particularly hard to watch due the fact that the offense had issues moving the ball.
However, the good news is once the Falcons did reach the red zone, they were able to come up with 6 instead of 3 on some good red zone play designs. It was an ugly win—I know Dean Pees would prefer we didn’t say that—but it was a win nonetheless. This coming Sunday, the offense faces Jack Del Rio’s defense in Washington. Let’s see how the Falcons offense matches up with Washington’s defense.
In the trenches
Washington Head Coach Ron Rivera is notorious for having big and athletic players along his defensive line no matter where he goes. It’s no different here, as he has a cast of 1st rounders in 2020 NFL Draft 2nd overall pick Chase Young, DeRon Payne, Jonathan Allen and Montez Sweat. There’s plenty of blue chip talent here, and unsurprisingly this front 4 is quick and disruptive.
The Falcons had an inconsistent showing against the Giants front, but there has been progress from week to week. Rookie Jalen Mayfield looked much better this game and the offensive line played a fair and disciplined game penalty wise. More cohesion and progress is definitely desired, but things don’t get easier for them facing Washington.
The Skill Positions
Washington’s linebacker corps and secondary have been particularly underwhelming so far the first three games of the season. The linebacker group features rookie Jamin Davis, an athletic but raw player. The secondary group features cornerback Kendall Fuller and safety Landon Collins. Collins has had a decent season so far, but most of the secondary group has been marred with below average play and penalties, which is good news for Atlanta.
Although a talented group, the Falcons wide receiver and tight end group hasn’t really shown much the first few games. Cordarrelle Patterson is the unquestioned MVP at the skill positions so far this season. The talent is certainly there with Calvin Ridley, Hayden Hurst and the unicorn formally known as Kyle Pitts. Coach Smith just needs to make sure he sets a game plan to put the ball in his playmakers’ hands, because this secondary can be exploited.
Progress, progress, and more progress is needed from this Atlanta offense against Washington. The Falcons certainly have the edge among the skilled positions. However, again, how the offensive line holds up against Washington’s defensive front will be the key in regards to how the offense ultimately performs.
We’re all getting a bit impatient and eager for Coach Smith to call a good game for four quarters. If he gets his stars involved early, there’s a good chance the offense can finally have a good showing from start to finish.