The Falcons offensive line began the year sluggish but has been better of late, and they’ll square off with one of the best defensive fronts in football this Sunday as the Commanders travel to Atlanta.
Washington has spent four first-round picks on their defensive line — Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, and Daron Payne.
According to PFF, Allen’s 13.5% pass rush win rate ranks 14th among interior defenders, while Young and Sweat both rank in the top 15 in pressures among edge rushers.
“The front four … They pay those guys a lot of money to get out to the quarterback and they do a great job of that,” Desmond Ridder said.
Still, the Commanders’ defense has been bad overall, ranking 28th in expected points added per dropback, but much of that can be attributed to the secondary. We saw Washington make Justin Fields look like an MVP, so there are things Ridder and the Falcons offense can exploit if the offensive line can protect him.
“It’ll be a great challenge to our front five up front,” Ridder said. “And then a little banged up in the back end, so they’re rotating a whole bunch of guys, but they’ve done a great job of kind of being savvy, letting everything be underneath, and kind of attacking the ball.”
Emmanuel Forbes is the weak link on the defense. D.J. Moore made him look like he didn’t belong in the league last week, and Atlanta’s big bodied pass catchers should have a field day with the undersized Forbes.