1. Game information
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Referee: Clay Martin
2. Injuries to know
3. Washington Football Team players to watch
WR Terry McLaurin: By far Washington’s most dangerous receiving threat, McLaurin is one of the best receivers in this league and will command considerable respect from Dean Pees. A.J. Terrell will likely get the responsibility of guarding Scary Terry, so that’ll be a matchup to watch.
DL Daron Payne: The Falcons interior offensive line is going through a gauntlet of interior defenders, and Payne is as good as any Jalen Mayfield and Matt Hennessy have faced thus far. He can be a game-breaker, so Arthur Smith should have a clear plan to neutralize him.
DL Jonathan Allen: Everything said about Payne can be said for Allen. He’s a force to be reckoned with, and if the Falcons don’t give Mayfield help, Allen could wreck him.
4. Washington Football Team QB: Taylor Heinicke
Heinicke is a journeyman quarterback who gave many WFT fans hope in the playoffs against the Buccaneers. However, he’s regressed to what he really is — a replaceable player. He played well against the Giants but looked horrible against the Bills. Heinicke generally plays best on the fly when he can use his athleticism to make plays, but I would expect Dean Pees to come with a plan to keep him in the pocket. Making Heinicke beat you with his arm is the key.
5. Last meeting: Falcons 38, Washington Football Team 14 (2018)
Julio Jones broke a 12-game skid without a touchdown as the underperforming Falcons ran away with this one. Matt Ryan finished with 350 yards on 26-of-38 passing for four touchdowns. The team surpassed 100 yards rushing for just the second time up to that point and got back to .500 on the season. Alex Smith led Washington that year, who was leading the NFC East coming into the matchup. A series of injuries along the offensive line sealed their fate, though, and snapped their three-game winning streak.