Week 5: Atlanta Falcons At Washington Redskins

Wild Card Playoffs - Atlanta Falcons v New York Giants
Indianapolis Colts v Washington Redskins
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.
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.
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.


  1. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Sam Bradford #8 of the Minnesota Vikings throws a pass in the first quarter against Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Vikings 21-10. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) GREENBAY, WI - OCTOBER 20: Running back Jordan Howard #24 of the Chicago Bears is tackled by nose tackle Kenny Clark #97 and cornerback Demetri Goodson #39 of the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Lambeau Field on October 20, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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  2. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles avoids Everson Griffen #97 of the Minnesota Vikings as he runs for a first down during the second quarter of a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-16.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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  3. GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football during the NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals and Seahawks tied 6-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 16: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers scrambles out of the pocked during the first half of a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 16, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
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