ATLANTA—The Redskins have been able to stay competitive this year by running the ball and stopping the opposition’s run game. It looked like they had a chance to do that again against the Falcons today with the Falcons having among the worst yards per carry performances on both sides of the ball.
But as often happens in the NFL, the Falcons flipped the script, running the ball almost at will against the Redskins’ defense and shutting down the Washington ground attack.
The Redskins had not allowed a team to rush for 100 yards against them all year. But Falcons running back Devonta Freeman had a field day, rushing for 153 yards on 27 carries. In all, the Falcons ran for 5.5 yards per carry after averaging just 3.7 yards coming into the game.
Freeman really got rolling in the second half, rushing for 95 yards against a Washington defense that was having problems getting off of the field.
Part of the reason the Redskins were getting tired is because their running game couldn’t move the chains and kill the clock, their usual formula for success. They were held to 51 yards on 24 carries, and 2.1 per carry average against a team that was giving up an average of over twice that much, 4.4 per carry, coming into the game.
Neither Matt Jones nor Alfred Morris could develop anything close to a hot hand. Morris had 15 yards on eight carries and Jones managed just 20 on 11 tries.
And the running game problems led to time of possession problems. The Redskins came into the game leading the league with an average of over 37 minutes of possession time per game. They left with a good chunk taken out of that average as they held on to the ball for just 27:49.
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