Up this week, lead Editor for The Falcoholic (great name), Dave Choate, answers my Atlanta questions. Tyler Clabo sounds like a major liability.
Dave Choate: The D-line has done well. The sack numbers aren't eye-popping, but they've applied pressure well. Mike Nolan knows how to get a lot out of the guys in his rotation, which is why a reserve defensive tackle with some pass-rushing ability like Vance Walker can both get playing time and come up with a couple of sacks in four games. They'll look to apply pressure up the middle and work the right side of the line in hopes of making up for what will probably be an ineffectual rush off the left side of the line.
Being 4-0 with Matt Ryan an MVP candidate, I'm sure you're grasping but the Falcons have the 9th most sacks with 11.
2.) Flipping lines, are there any weak links on the OLine the Redskins D can exploit?
Tyson Clabo. He's allowed six sacks in four games and has been an outright disaster in at least two of them thus far. If you're going to drop Ryan, you've got to exploit his struggles so far this season, as the Panthers did a week ago. If you have the personnel to do it, you can also push fairly effectively up the middle against the Falcons, who are good but not great there.
3.) On your article on how to contain RGIII, you mentioned he only had one deep ball. He actually had another one on the money that Aldrick Robinson dropped. The Redskins OLine is by no means the best, but simply, the Redskins haven't needed to go deep with Morris running well and WRs YACs shredding defenses. You mentioned the safeties being the weak link in the defense....can you elaborate on that?
Well, the safeties are actually the strongest part of the defense in many respects. Thomas DeCoud and William Moore have combined for five picks in four games and have been stellar in coverage most of the season thus far. The key will be to keep the ball out of their hands, which Griffin and the Redskins can accomplish by running the football and relying on short passes. I wouldn't be particularly keen to go deep against them.
4.) I really don't know how the Redskins secondary can stop Jones and White. How would you defend against this Falcons D if you were Jim Haslett?
If I were Haslett, I would pray. Maybe work up a little shrine. Seriously, though, you've just got to devote all your resources to getting after Matt Ryan, forcing him to make mistakes and trying to buy some time to work with your secondary. The Falcons have too many options in the passing game and Ryan is too good to be stopped unless you can hit him, so that has to be the goal.
5.) What's your prediction for the game and RGIII's stat line?
I'm predicting 35-27, Falcons. I think it'll be a little bit of a shootout. Griffin goes 18/30 for 270 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.
Bonus: Since we have this in common, what's your favorite Jeff George story.
Oh man, I can't believe I missed Jeff George! That's just shameful.
I think the best way to sum up the Jeff George era, with all its highs and lows, is this particular video. The fighting with June Jones, the backwards hat, the fact that he threw two picks....vintage George. I can't say I miss him that much.