Falcons offense versus Commanders defense
What’s crazy about the Falcons is that quarterback Desmond Ridder is not good at being a quarterback. Strangely, however, he's unbeaten at home, and last week, he enjoyed his best game as a passer versus a Houston Texans defense that is pretty good at defending the pass.
It was, without question, Ridder’s best game of his young career, but we’re not going to buy into the recency bias. Atlanta wants to run the ball with Bijan Robinson, so that’s what they’re going to do. Run the ball... Do so inefficiently... But continue trying until it kind of works.
The Falcons should find success in doing so come Week 6. The Commanders’ defensive line is good, but it lacks depth. After Daron Payne, Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, and Chase Young, there isn't much there. Their line (and defense as a whole) is not very scary.
Those four linemen have a combined 19 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks. Their depth guys have 3 TFLs and 2.5 sacks. The delta between the two groups is very staggering.
When the Falcons’ run game starts to work, it’ll work big-time. Until then, it’ll feel like they’re bashing their heads on a wall. Luckily for us, this game is stuck in the middle of the early slate of games and we won’t have to see much of it on the RedZone Channel.
As far as the rest of the Commanders’ defense goes, we’ve seen it all. We’ve seen notably small cornerback Emmanuel Forbes get cooked by Stefon Diggs, A.J. Brown, and somehow D.J. Moore. The rest of their secondary isn't very good either, but luckily they won’t get asked to do much in this game. It’ll be a much-needed and undeserved break for them.