TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 5: Atlanta Falcons At Washington Redskins

Falcons
Redskins
Quarterback
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 3 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 1 TD – it was his ability to lead the Redskins downfield in the fourth quarter that gave them a tough road win over the Bucs.
Offense
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.
Defense
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

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.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass in the second quarter during the NFC Wild Card game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 26: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Detroit Lions during the first half at AT&T Stadium on December 26, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

    The Packers look to avenge a loss to the Cowboys in the regular season.

  2. PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 08:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers hands off to Le\'Veon Bell #26 during the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Wild Card game at Heinz Field on January 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 25:  Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs in action during the game against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium on December 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs

    The red-hot Steelers head to KC for a rematch with a Chiefs team they throttled 43-14 in the regular season.

  3. HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07:  Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans hands off to Lamar Miller #26 at NRG Stadium on January 7, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 01: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots points to the defense during the 1st quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Houston Texans at New England Patriots

    The Texans head to Foxboro, the site of a 27-0 loss in the regular season and now have to face Tom Brady this time around.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Pittsburgh

New Podcast Network
Learn How
Get The All New CBS Local App

Listen Live