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Washington Redskins vs. Atlanta Falcons


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Atlanta travels to our house for the first time in 12 years. The Redskins are ready to continue the Falcons losing streak this Sunday at Fedex.


The Redskins and Falcons know each other more than you might think. Coach Joe Gibbs was a minority owner of the Atlanta Falcons before coming back to Washington. Coach Gibbs coached under Falcons President and General Manager Rich McKay's father on two seperate occassions. Gibbs was on McKay's staff at USC and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Al Saunders was also on the USC coaching staff.


The last time the two teams met was in the Georgia Dome in 2003. The Redskins had a 17 point comeback to win the game 33 to 31. Look for a stellar game from Jason Campbell this week. The Falcons gave up 349 passing yards against Brees.


Falcons Defense


RE John Abraham has tallied nine tackles, three sacks,

three forced fumbles and one pass defensed in three starts. He

was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week in Week 1.

NT Grady Jackson has recorded 34 tackles, two passes

defensed and one forced fumble in 11 starts. Posted a seasonhigh

nine tackles against the Saints last week.

UT Rod Coleman has notched 15 tackles, three sacks, three

fumble recoveries and three passes defensed in 10 starts.

LE Chauncey Davis has tallied 27 tackles, one sack, one

fumble recovery and one pass defensed in nine starts.

OLB Keith Brooking leads the team with 107 tackles after

posting multi-tackle games in four of his past five starts. Had his

second sack of the season last week against the Saints.

MLB Edgerton Hartwell had a sack and eight tackles in his

return to the starting lineup last week against the Saints.

OLB Michael Boley has registered 61 tackles, five passes

defensed, two sacks, one forced fumble, one interception and

three fumble recoveries in 10 starts.

RCB Allen Rossum has posted 13 tackles and one pass

defensed in three starts at right cornerback.

LCB DeAngelo Hall has posted 37 tackles, a team-high four

interceptions and a career-high 11 passes defensed in 11 starts.

SS Lawyer Milloy leads the secondary with 73 tackles in

addition to having recorded one sack and one pass defensed.

FS Chris Crocker has registered 29 tackles, seven passes

defensed and one sack in 11 starts.


The Falcons Offense


WR Michael Jenkins has 28 catches for 322 yards with five

touchdowns on the season, including four scores in his past six


LT Wayne Gandy has helped the Falcons lead the NFL in

rushing with 2,175 yards this season.

LG Matt Lehr returned to the starting lineup last week

against the Saints.

C Todd McClure made his 75th consecutive start against

the Saints and will play in his 100th career game this week.

RG Tyson Clabo made his fiftth career NFL start against the


RT Todd Weiner has helped the Falcons rank 9th in the NFL

in total offense this season (339.1 yards per game).

TE Alge Crumpler leads the team with 37 catches and 526

receiving yards with six touchdowns. Has caught five touchdown

passes in the past six games. Tied Jim Mitchell’s franchise

record for career touchdowns by a tight end (28) with a

touchdown reception against the Lions.

WR Ashley Lelie has tallied 18 receptions for 307 yards

(17.1 avg.).

QB Michael Vick has connected on 149 of 291 passes for

1,770 yards with 13 touchdowns. Ranks first on the team with

870 rushing yards.

RB Warrick Dunn has rushed for a 865 yards on 208 carries

with four touchdowns.

FB Justin Griffith has caught 17 passes for 127 yards and

rushed five times for 31 yards.


So far this year, the Falcons have out-rushed their opponents by 1,095 yards over 11 games (99.5 yards

per game), which is the largest differential in the NFL. Head coach Joe Gibbs had talked all week about getting back to "Redskins football," of dominating the line of scrimmage and establishing the running game. On Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, the Redskins accomplished that goal.


In a taut, defensive struggle most of the game, the Redskins' offense finally broke through in the fourth quarter with a big play: Jason Campbell and Chris Cooley connected on a 66-yard touchdown pass, giving the Redskins a 17-13 lead.


The defense, maligned in recent weeks, stepped up to stop Carolina on two fourth quarter drives, sealing the win and improving the Redskins' record to 4-7.


Sean Taylor tackled Panthers' wide receiver Drew Carter on fourth down to end one drive, then intercepted a deep pass from quarterback Jake Delhomme to end the game.


After weeks of tumult for the struggling Redskins, the win was a welcome breath of fresh air for the team.


"That was something we really needed--obviously a real morale booster," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "It was really a tribute to the players and their character, the way they stood up. I felt like today was our style of football. Everybody contributed."


The offense, committed to running the football, compiled 143 rushing yards. Ladell Betts led the way with 104 yards on 23 carries, a 4.3 yards-per-carry average.


Campbell, making his second NFL start, turned in an uneven performance, completed 11-of-23 passes for 118 yards, with two touchdowns. After tossing an interception after the Panthers had taken a 13-10 fourth-quarter lead, Campbell shook off his mistake and guided the Redskins to the game-winning score.


The defense expected to have its hands full with a Panthers wide receiver corps that includes speedster Steve Smith and veteran Keyshawn Johnson. The unit yielded just 163 passing yards, with Carlos Rogers logging three pass break-ups and Taylor and Vernon Fox each recording interceptions.


It was apparent early on that Sunday's game would be a defensive battle.


Early in the first quarter, the Redskins took advantage of a poor pass by Delhomme, who tossed a deep pass to Smith. Fox was playing deep and leaped up for the interception.


Washington took over at its 46-yard line, but the Redskins could not capitalize on the strong field position, as Jason Campbell's third-down pass to Santana Moss was broken up.


Most of the first quarter, neither team could generate much offense. The Redskins could not pick up a first down on the offense's first three possessions.


The Panthers began to move the ball late in the first quarter, as running back DeAngelo Williams raced around left tackle for a 28-yard pickup. Delhomme then completed passes to Smith and Williams to get the offense in scoring range.


Kenny Wright broke up a 3rd-and-4 pass to Carter at the Redskins' 24-yard line, and the Panthers settled for a 42-yard field goal by John Kasay.


The Redskins responded quickly, with Rock Cartwright returning the ensuing kickoff 33 yards to the 40-yard line.


Campbell completed a 17-yard pass to Chris Cooley, then Ladell Betts picked up 13 yards to the Panthers' 30-yard line. Two plays later, on 3rd-and-10, Campbell showcased his scrambling ability when he avoided the rush by scrambling up the middle for a 10-yard gain.


The drive stalled on 3rd-and-9 when Campbell's short pass to Brandon Lloyd was broken up by linebacker Thomas Davis. Nick Novak came on for a 37-yard field goal attempt, but his kick sailed wide left.


Midway through the second quarter, the Redskins moved the ball into Carolina territory again. T.J. Duckett converted a 3rd-and-2 run, then fullback Mike Sellers gained 13 yards to the Panthers' 31-yard line.


The drive stalled on 3rd-and-13 when Moss was stopped three yards short on a pass from Campbell. Novak came on for a 42-yard attempt, and this time he converted.


With 21 seconds left in the first half, Carolina linebacker Adam Seward blitzed up the middle, past Adam Archuleta, to block a Derrick Frost punt. The Panthers took over at the Redskins' 44-yard line with 13 seconds remaining.


Williams picked up 4 yards on a run, then after a time out, Delhomme connected with Johnson for seven yards to set up a 51-yard field goal attempt by Kasay with four seconds left. His kick had just enough distance and the Panthers went into halftime with a 6-3 advantage.


Late in the third quarter, with Carolina punter Jason Baker punting from the Panthers' 18-yard line, Rocky McIntosh came in for a punt block of his own. Baker's tipped punt traveled 11 yards and the Redskins took over in excellent field position.


The Redskins used a power rushing attack to advance the ball. Betts picked up 11 yards on two carries, then Duckett broke through tackles for a 19-yard gain to the Panthers' 5-yard line.


On 3rd-and-goal, Campbell scrambled left and found Antwaan Randle El open at the goal line. Randle El grabbed the pass one yard in the end zone for a touchdown, giving the Redskins a 10-6 lead heading into the fourth quarter.


Carolina's offense responded with a 15-play, 73-yard drive that consumed 7:07 off the game clock. Delhomme mixed in passes to fullback Brad Hoover, Johnson and Smith and the Panthers converted four third-down plays to keep the drive alive.


On 3rd-and-7 at the Redskins' 8-yard line, Delhomme threw a high-arching pass to Smith in the back of the end zone. Smith leaped above Springs to grab the ball, then managed to keep both feet in bounds. It was a remarkable catch that gave Carolina a 13-10 lead with just under eight minutes to play.


On the Redskins' ensuing drive, Campbell threw a deep pass that was intercepted by cornerback Richard Marshall, and Carolina took over at its own 32-yard line. It was Campbell's first NFL interception after 54 passes. The turnover did not hurt the Redskins, though, as the defense forced a quick 3-and-out.


Campbell had a second chance for a come-from-behind win, and this time he would not disappoint.


After Betts picked up 14 yards on two carries, Campbell found Chris Cooley running a crossing pattern. Cooley broke one tackle by cornerback Chris Gamble, then slipped by a tackle by safety Mike Minter to get into open field.


Cooley raced down the left sideline untouched for a 66-yard touchdown catch-and-run. Cooley leaped into the stands to celebrate with fans and ran around the stadium high-fiving with fans until he reached the Redskins' bench.


Carolina had two chances to re-take the lead late in the fourth quarter. But Taylor would have none of it.


On the Panthers' last opportunity, with just under two minutes left to play in the game, Delhomme passed deep to Smith, who was in double coverage. Delhomme's pass was off the mark, though, and Taylor ran across field to haul in the game-ending interception.

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