TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 5: Atlanta Falcons At Washington Redskins

Falcons
Redskins
Wild Card Playoffs - Atlanta Falcons v New York Giants
Indianapolis Colts v Washington Redskins
Quarterback
Winner Matt Ryan knows what has been said about him. He’s heard all the talk that he can’t win a playoff game. Well, Ryan won’t be able to do anything about that until January, but he’s doing all he can to play like the best quarterback in the league. He threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns against the Panthers in Week Four.
The Redskins got another eye-opening performance from rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. While his numbers were good – 26-of-35 for 323 yards passing, 43 rushing yards and one TD – it was his ability to lead the Redskins downfield in the fourth quarter that gave them a tough road win over the Bucs.
Offense
Winner The Falcons have a plethora of weapons for Ryan to choose from. The Falcons may have the most productive wideout in the league in Roddy White while Julio Jones is a great big-play threat. Michael Turner is a difference-maker at the running back slot.
The Redskins are not going to fall apart offensively any time soon. The hard running of Alfred Morris has been impressive. He had 113 yards and a touchdown against the Bucs. Leonard Hankerson can go downfield and catch the ball. The offensive line has been surprisingly good so far.
Defense
Winner The Falcons have been a speed-based defense for many years. The inference is that they don’t have enough muscle in short-yardage situations to kill opponents’ drives, but that may no longer be the case. Outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is an excellent tackler and he will be put to the test against RGIII and Morris.
The Redskins are an upbeat story, but it’s not because of the defense. Washington’s defensive unit does not often put itself in position to stop decent offensive attacks and the Falcons are a lot more than defense. They have nobody to stop White or Jones.
Special Teams
Winner The Falcons feel confident when Matt Bryant trots onto the field. He was 3-of-3 against the Carolina Panthers and he is dependable. Speedy Jacquizz Rodgers is an instinctive returner who has the potential to break big plays.
If he had not made the 41-yard FG attempt in the final seconds, it’s a pretty fair bet that Billy Cundiff would have been looking for a job on Monday. He was 1-of-4 against the Bucs. Sav Rocca is a dependable punter who can kill the football inside the 10.

The Winner Is

Wild Card Playoffs - Atlanta Falcons v New York Giants
Winner Falcons
4 out of 4

The Falcons may be the best team in the league through the first quarter of the season. Most notable is the performance of Ryan, who looks like the best quarterback in the league. The Redskins will be pumped to face the best team of the league at home and they will push hard, but they don’t have enough talent to hang in for 60 minutes.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons signals to his team during their NFL game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 18, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18:  Quarterback  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints hands off to Mark Ingram #22 during the first quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
    Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Atlanta Falcons At New Orleans Saints

    The NFC South rivals meet in the Big Easy with Brees and company looking for their first win.

  2. CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 19: Danny Trevathan #59 and Akiem Hicks #96 of the Chicago Bears
stop Ryan Mathews #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles
at Soldier Field on September 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Eagels defeated the Bears 29-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates with teammates center Travis Frederick #72 and offensive guard La\'el Collins #71 after scoring a third quarter touchdown against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 18, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Chicago Bears At Dallas Cowboys

    The Cowboys rookies have looked good the first two weeks, now they get the winless and injury plagued Bears at home.

  3. PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 18: Xavier Grimble #85 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates his touchdown with Ben Roethlisberger #7 in the first quarter during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on September 18, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles hands off the football to Ryan Mathews #24 in the first half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At Philadelphia Eagles

    The two Pennsylvania teams have gotten off to 2-0 starts. Who will win the battle for interstate bragging rights?

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Los Angeles

KNX 1070 Newsradio
Play.It
Follow Us On Twitter

Listen Live