Headed into week five of the 2012 season, the Atlanta Falcons were 4-0. This year, at least early on, had the makings of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan's most successful to date in his young career.
However, Ryan and his Falcons were playing against a rising Washington Redskins team led by rookie sensation Robert Griffin III.
Do I smell upset?
Well, no, Altanta won the game 24-17. But below, I have written five things that were learned, about both teams, from yesterday's game:
Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III Is Human, Just Like The Rest Of Us
In the third quarter of Sunday's game, the Redskins were faced with a third down and "RG3-able" deep in Atlanta territory. And as he's done so superbly on many occasions already this season, Griffin III took the ball and ran. He ran around the right side of the line, and pressure pushed him to run wider. As he has also done far too often, in this writer's opinion, is lead with his head, and dove at the first down marker on the sideline. There to meet him was the shoulder of Falcons linebacker Sean Witherspoon.
The hit to the left side of Griffin's helmet caused what the Redskins have officially called a "mild concussion", which for obvious reasons meant that RG3 was done for the day.
The Ageless Tony Gonzalez Can Still Make Plays
Near the end of the first half, Altanta's all-world tight end Tony Gonzalez just would not be denied. Gonzo had a catch and run that had him down at the goal line, then promptly went out the next play to finish the job, catching a go ahead score for Atlanta.
Gonzalez finished the day with 13 catches for 123 yards.
The Redskins Need a NEW KICKER, And They Need One NOW
Kicker Billy Cundiff was "goated" out of Baltimore last season following a missed field goal that would have at the very least gotten the Ravens tied with the New England Patriots at the end of the AFC Championship Game. Instead, the Ravens had to watch New England play in Super Bowl XLVI.
Having been signed by the Redskins in the preseason this year, Cundiff had a shot at redeeming himself inthe NFL. Last week, he missed his first four kicks against Tampa Bay and was almost certainly on his way out of another city. He then made his last attempt, a game-winner, that at least allowed him another week of NFL employment.
Against the Falcons, however, he missed another "gimme" field goal, and the boo's from the crowd could be heard even with my television muted. He has to go.
Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan Is Just....WOW.
Almost as if he's taking it upon himself to play the role of himself on defense but also that of injured and gone for the year teammate Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan gave a swift boost to the Washington home crowd when he broke free and began running toward Altanta quarterback Matt Ryan, jumping between Ryan and his receiver, intercepting the ball, and chugging his way the other direction for the first points of the day.
* Authors note: It was kind of pathetic yet hilarious watching Matt Ryan chasing after Kerrigan in a "Hey! That's MY BALL!" manner.
DeAngelo Hall reminds Me of Deion Sanders, but not in a good way.
Time and time again, Hall has had a play MADE. Then just fails to finish the tackle. He just, "Bye-bye Mr. Receiver! Say Hi to the end zone mascot for me!". Fundamentals, DeAngelo, Deion Sanders was good at coverage, was an awful tackler. You've been showing that you're not very good at either.