The Matt Ryan-led Atlanta Falcons are on the road this week, taking on Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins. The Falcons are one of two undefeated teams remaining in the league, while RG3 and the Redskins are 2-2. When these two teams meet at 1 p.m. on Fox, fans will be able to witness one of the fastest rising stars in the league take on a player looking towards elite status.
Ryan was compared to Peyton Manning when the Falcons used the third overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft and has finally reached the level where people can make that statement with some validity behind it. He has thrown for 1,162 yards this season with 11 touchdowns, two interceptions, 69.4 completion percentage and a 112.1 QB rating. He has been unstoppable in the Atlanta offense this season, connecting with Roddy White 27 times (413 yards, three touchdowns), Tony Gonzalez 26 times (265 yards, three touchdowns) and Julio Jones 16 times (219 yards, three touchdowns).
RG3 hasn't been as good as Cam Newton was last year as a rookie, but he has shown that makings of a great quarterback. He and Newton have taken the blueprint that Michael Vick provided for a running quarterback and taken it to the next level. I do worry about the amount of hits he has already taken this season, but that is just part of the game, especially for someone with his speed at that position. He hasn't had a real solid wide receiver this season, but rookie running back Alfred Morris has played well, rushing for 376 yards and four touchdowns.
When these two teams take the field, the overall explosiveness of the Atlanta offense could be the difference. On any given play, Ryan has five solid options to pass the ball off too, while Griffin has just Fred Davis and Pierre Garcon. One thing that will be interesting to see is how the new Atlanta defense, led by Mike Nolan, will handle Griffin. Over the years, the Falcons have struggled against rushing quarterbacks, so they will have to be extra cautious of what they do with RG3, or they will let up big plays.
For a look at season recaps for the Atlanta Falcons, go here for easier access.
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Hobson Lopes is a fan of the Atlanta Falcons, thanks to Deion Sanders and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.
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