Washington Redskins vs. Atlanta Falcons Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Washington Redskins (2-5 2-5 ATS) vs. Atlanta Falcons (4-3 5-2 ATS) Week 9 NFL, Georgia Dome Atlanta, GA 1 PM EST Sunday November 8, 2009 on FOX
By Jason Green of Predictem.com

Point Spread: Redskins +11.5 / Falcons -11.5
Over/Under: 41

On Sunday afternoon the Atlanta Falcons host the struggling Washington Redskins. To say the Redskins are struggling is a huge understatement, as they have lost 3 games in a row and have allowed 3 teams to win their first game of the season against them. Head coach Jim Zorn was recently stripped of his play-calling duties and unless he turns the Skins around in the 2nd half of the season he will be on his way out of the Nation’s Capital. The Falcons lost a tough game on Monday night to the New Orleans Saints and now they trail the Saints by 3 games in the NFC South so the Wild card may be their only chance to make the playoffs.

Last week the Falcons lost to Saints 35-27 while the Redskins had a bye week. In their last game before the bye the Redskins lost to the Eagles 27-17.

In their loss to the Saints on Monday night the Falcons had only 10 less rushing yards than the Saints, but had more rushing yards, but it was turnovers that cost them the game. Even though the Saints kept the Falcons in the game with 4 turnovers the Falcons were on the Saints’ 1-yard line trailing New Orleans 28-24, but Matt Ryan had a pass tipped for an interception, which persevered the Saints win. The Falcons were underdogs by 11 points so they covered the spread and the posted total of 56 was surpassed.

In the Redskins loss 2 weeks ago to the Eagles Jim Zorn coached his first game without calling plays, but it really did not matter, as they had 4 turnovers, which killed them. The Redskins had more total yards and passing yards in the game, but they could not get the rushing offense going only gaining 62 yards on the ground. The Redskins lost 3 fumbles in the game and QB Jason Campbell, who is also on the hot seat, had an INT and a fumble even though he passed for 284 yards with 2 TD. The Redskins were underdogs in the game by 8.5 points so they did not cover the spread and the posted total of 38 was missed by 1 point.

The Falcons need to improve upon their 3rd down defense, as in the Saints game they allowed New Orleans to covert 7 of 12 3rd down conversions.

The Redskins have been killed by turnovers this season and they need to hold onto the ball to have any chance in this game.

Even though the Redskins are only 2-5 their defense is playing great ranked 2nd in the league and while their secondary has been stellar they have been allowing opponents to pick up an average of 118.6 yards per game on the ground.

Matt Ryan has been solid this season, but his 3 INT’s in the Saints’ game can’t be repeated in this game.

Since Ryan will be facing a tough Skins’ secondary he will need some help from RB Michael Turner. Turner is not picking up huge yards like last season, as he is only averaging 4 yards per carry.

The Atlanta defense is their Achilles Heel, as they only rank 25th in the league. Their secondary is especially weak, as they are allowing an average of 256.4 passing yards per game.

Jason Campbell is having a decent season, but he is making costly turnovers and he has had to air it out more often since the Redskins are getting behind early in games.

The Redskins have to establish the running game early and Clinton Portis has to have a good game. Portis seems to be on the decline, but he may have a big game against a mediocre, at best, Atlanta rushing defense.

Jason’s Pick: Come on Redskins do something this season. They have the talent, but have shot themselves in the foot way too often this season. They have a good D and their offense simply needs to hold onto the ball and establish the running game. I think the bye week will help the Redskins, as they may not win this game, but they will cover the spread. Take the Skins and the points in this game.