Atlanta Falcons (3-4) vs. Washington Redskins(5-2) at FedEx Field, Washington, D.C.
NFL Week 9: 1:00 ET on Sunday, November 4, 2018
On Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons travel to the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Redskins. The Redskins are leading the NFC East while Atlanta finds themselves in third in the AFC South. Atlanta is currently on a two-game winning streak after victories over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants. Washington has won three straight.
The Redskins lead the all-time series 15-9-1 and have won the last five games between these two teams. That includes a 25-19 victory in overtime in 2015.
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Falcons Look to Extend Win Streak Following Bye
The Atlanta Falcons are starting to finally get on a roll, winning their last two games before having last weekend off when the team had their bye week. Both victories were narrow victories, including a three-point win over the New York Giants on October 22.
The Falcons benefited from a fine performance by quarterback Matt Ryan, who threw for 379 yards and a touchdown. However, it was kicker Giorgio Tavecchio who had the big day, connecting on all three of his field-goal attempts, including a 50 yard and a 56-yard field goal.
The improved performance by Atlanta is coming courtesy of a defense that is playing a lot better of late. Atlanta is still allowing 30.3 points per game on average, but that is a dramatic improvement over their last two weeks of the season and they should look even better with an additional week of practice. The team is scoring at an average of 27.1 points per game and is producing 400.9 yards of offense per contest.
Matt Ryan has been extremely impressive, completing 71.1 percent of his passes throwing 15 touchdowns with only two interceptions this season. He has 2,335 yards passing. Tevin Coleman rushed for 51 yards against the Giants, giving him 310 rushing yards this season which leads the Falcons. This is a team averaging just 83.3 yards on the ground per contest.
Cowboys Look to Continue Domination at Home
Ironically enough, the Washington Redskins are also coming off a victory against the New York Giants, defeating New York 20-13 last week in New York. Quarterback Alex Smith did not have a big day but was efficient completing 62.5% of his passes for 178 yards. Adrian Peterson had a big day for Washington, however, rushing for 149 yards and a touchdown off 26 carries. The Redskins defense allowed the Giants just 37 rushing yards.
With consecutive victories over New York, Dallas, and Carolina, Washington has quickly gotten themselves on a roll, moving to the top of the NFC East division. They are 3-1-0 at home this season and are 5-1-0 within the conference. The Redskins are scoring at an average of 20.9 points per game while allowing 19.1 points per contest.
Alex Smith is proving to be the perfect quarterback for the Washington offense, completing 63.2% of his passes. He has thrown for 1561 yards with eight touchdowns and just two interceptions. Peterson is finding Washington to be a welcome landing spot, rushing for 587 yards and four touchdowns while boasting a 4.6 yards per carry average.
- 1-4 ATS in their last five games in November.
- 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall.
- 1-5 ATS in their last six games on the road.
- 5-0 ATS in their last five games at home against the losing record on the road.
- 6-1 ATS in their last seven games at home.
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
The Winner Prediction
Both of these teams come into this game playing exceptionally well. The odds would be much better in Washington’s favor had it not been for the fact that Atlanta is coming off of their bye week. This has given them a next or week to prepare for the Redskins and should help the Falcons in this contest.
Alex Smith has played well for the Redskins, but they are going to need a prime time offensive performance and the Redskins may not be up to that yet. Atlanta has a red-hot quarterback that will likely be the difference in this game.
The Pick: Atlanta Falcons (+1.5)
Two factors make this look like the under is the smarter wager. First off, Washington should be better defensively after trading for Green Bay Packers safety Clinton Ha-Ha Dix. The safety is a big-time playmaker, which should improve the Redskins defense greatly, a group that was already pretty solid.
Atlanta gets that extra week, helping them to pair for this game against Washington, which should make them better defensively. This game has the feel of a 24-20 finish.
The Pick: Under 46.5