The Atlanta Falcons' Week 4 experience against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers' rushing attack should come in handy against Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins, writes Daniel Cox at the team's official website. The two teams run similar option-heavy ground games, so Atlanta's front seven should see some familiar looks on Sunday.
Atlanta allowed 199 yards on the ground by Carolina, their highest total of the season so far and more than double the average yards per game allowed by the Falcons in 2011. Head coach Mike Smith hopes what they saw in Week 4 will help them bring that number down against the Redskins. As he told the team's official site:
"I'm sure [the defensive front will] study the film and look at how Carolina was successful. I know that they've been doing some things very well through the first four games. We're going to make sure that we've shored up the issues we had in giving up 200 yards rushing last week, that's for sure. Then put our best foot forward in terms of preparing ourselves for this offense even though it's similar there are a lot of differences in what they do."
Washington is averaging 171 yards on the ground per game, good for second in the NFL. Running back Alfred Morris is averaging 4.6 yards per carry, and RGIII is averaging 5.7. A stiff defensive line will be critical on Sunday, as will gap awareness by the linebackers.