Football coaches love to talk about all three phases of the game: offense, defense and special teams.
Well, for the Redskins, two of those three phases are performing at an elite level. Watch the last few games, and it's easy to tell which facet isn't performing like the others.
The Redskins defense hasn't given up more than 17 points in the last three weeks, and has been incredible against the run. On special teams, Tress Way and Washington's punt coverage unit has been among the league's best at establishing advantages in field position.
Offensively, however, it's been a slog.
Adrian Peterson continues to impress, piling up nearly 150 rush yards in New York and 345 yards in the last three games. But that's it as far as the offense goes. Alex Smith has passed for fewer than 190 yards in each of the least three games, and is completing less than 60 percent of his passes in that time.
Still, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden remains confident Smith will get the passing attack going.
"We are close, we missed some opportunities of course but we're going to get there," Gruden said Monday. "I think it’s just a matter of it being a missed throw here or there, might be a poor route maybe, might be a protection issue just a little, we're just not quite in full sync right now at this time."
This would be a good week for the Redskins to get in sync.
Atlanta comes to town this weekend with a high-powered offense. The Falcons throw the ball well with a Top 3 passing offense and elite playmakers like Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.
For a few weeks now, the Burgundy and Gold defense has suffocated run-first offenses, but the challenge will be different against Atlanta.
It would certainly help if the Redskins offense could post some points.
"We understand that Atlanta has got a powerful offense and great weapons," Gruden said. "We don’t ever anticipate a team coming in here and scoring a lot of points or, ‘Hey, it's going to be a shootout this week.’ We anticipate our defense playing extremely well and offensively sticking with our plan."
Offensively, the plan will look much better with more effective play in the pass game.
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