- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 11, 2015

ATLANTA — After a 23-20 win against the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday, the Washington Redskins face the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

The Redskins face a tough test against the Falcons, who have the second-highest scoring offense in the NFL.

It’s going to be a tough test for the Redskins defense, especially with cornerback Chris Culliver out with a left knee injury.

Culliver did not practice this week after playing all 56 defensive snaps against the Eagles. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall, tight end Jordan Reed and wide receiver DeSean Jackson are also out.

Defending Falcons receiver Julio Jones is hard with a healthy secondary, let alone with the depth problems the Redskins are currently dealing with.

Jones’ 38 receptions and 478 receiving yards are the second-most in the league.

Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who was with the Redskins from 2010-13, has Jones line up all over the field, complicating the matchup for opposing defenses.

Without Culliver, the Redskins will rely on cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland, Will Blackmon and Kyshoen Jarrett.

Jones is dealing with a hamstring injury, but is active for Sunday’s game.


Kickoff: 1 p.m.

Records: Redskins 2-2, Falcons 4-0

Television: FOX (Chris Myers, play-by-play; Ronde Barber, color; Jennifer Hale, sidelines)

Radio: ESPN 980 (Larry Michael, Sonny Jurgensen, Chris Cooley, Doc Walker)

Weather: Dome

Lines: Atlanta -7.5, over/under 48.5 per Bovada

Projected Starters:

Redskins offense: QB Kirk Cousins, RB Alfred Morris, FB Darrel Young, WR Pierre Garcon, WR Ryan Grant, TE Derek Carrier, LT Trent Williams, LG Spencer Long, C Kory Lichtensteiger, RG Brandon Scherff, RT Morgan Moses.

Redskins defense: DE Chris Baker, NT Terrance Knighton, DE Jason Hatcher, OLB Trent Murphy, ILB Keenan Robinson, ILB Perry Riley, OLB Ryan Kerrigan, CB Bashaud Breeland, CB Will Blackmon, SS Trenton Robinson, FS Dashon Goldson.

Falcons offense: QB Matt Ryan, FB Patrick DiMarco, RB Devonta Freeman, WR Julio Jones, WR Roddy White, TE Jacob Tamme, LT Jake Matthews, LG Andy Levitre, C Mike Person, RG Chris Chester, RT Ryan Schraeder.

Falcons defense: DE Vic Beasley, NT Paul Soliai, DT Ra’Shede Hageman, DE Tyson Jackson, OLB Joplo Bartu, MLB Paul Worrilow, OLB O’Brien Schofield,, CB Robert Alford, CB Desmond Trufant, S Ricardo Allen, S William Moore.

Injury report:

Redskins: Out — CB DeAngelo Hall (toe), WR DeSean Jackson (hamstring), TE Jordan Reed, CB Chris Culliver; Questionable — ILB Perry Riley (calf strain); Probable — C Kory Lichtensteiger (finger), WR Pierre Garcon (knee), OLB Trent Murphy (hip), LG Spencer Long (ankle), C/G Josh LeRibeus (calf), OLB Ryan Kerrigan (hip), DE Kedric Golston (hand).

Falcons: Out — LB Justin Durant (elbow); Questionable — WR Julio Jones (hamstring/toe); Probable — WR Leonard Hankerson (thumb), S Ricardo Allen (knee), RB Tevin Coleman (ribs), LB Brooks Reed (groin), TE Jacob Tamme (concussion).

Three things to watch:

** With the secondary shorthanded, it’s even more important that the Redskins safeties play well against Atlanta. Last week against the Eagles, both Dashon Goldson and Trenton Robinson allowed big plays. On Riley Cooper’s 62-yard touchdown reception, Robinson, who was playing as the deep safety, never got back far enough. If those types of mistakes happen against the Falcons, quarterback Matt Ryan will most certainly make the Redskins pay for it.

** The Falcons‘ defense ranks fifth in the NFL behind the Redskins‘ and Atlanta has been strong against the run. The Falcons allow just 85.2 yards per game on the ground and the Redskins need to find a way to establish their attack early. Washington, who leads the NFL with an average of 139.5 rushing yards per game, relies on the rushing game to control the clock. The Redskins lead the NFL in time of possession per game (36:19) and if they want to slow down the Falcons‘ high-powered offense, the best bet is to keep them off the field. If the Redskins want to play the game at their slow-grinding pace, they’ll have to find a way past Atlanta’s stout run defense.

** Penalties have been a problem this season for the Redskins. They’ve committed 35 in four games — the seventh-most in the league. Last week against the Eagles, Robinson was flagged twice for unnecessary roughness. Quinton Dunbar was penalized for the same when he hit Eagles running back Darren Sproles after he signaled for a fair catch. The Redskins were penalized 10 times for 110 yards against Philadelphia, but was able to overcome it in a 23-20 win. That won’t be as easy to do against the Falcons.


All-time record: The Redskins are 14-8-1 against the Falcons.

Last regular-season meeting: Dec. 15, 2013: 27-26 loss at FedEx Field.

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