Featured Video from Scott Reichel
The Atlanta Falcons will host the Washington Redskins in the third week of preseason action here. All eyes will once again be on Dwayne Haskins here for the Redskins, while we should see the 2019 debut of Matt Ryan for the Falcons. The Redskins are 0-2 in exhibition action, while Atlanta is 0-3 since they also played in the opening Hall of Fame Game.
All eyes on Haskins
The Redskins once again had some tough luck last year. They started the season off 6-2, and things were going quite well with Alex Smith under center. They appeared on their way to the playoffs, until Smith went down with his devastating knee injury. Smith may never play again, and the team has been forced to move on at quarterback. They traded for Case Keenum this offseason, and also drafted Dwayne Haskins in the first round. The team isn’t expected to be very good this year, and Jay Gruden is going to be coaching for his job. Haskins is locked in a battle with Keenum for the starting job, and Keenum appears to be ahead. The rookie from Ohio State has shown plenty of flashes, but he’s also been pretty inconsistent.
"Haskins can't throw deep, he can't handle pressure" 🙄 pic.twitter.com/hE8cfiIcrY
— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) August 16, 2019
Starters won’t play in the fourth preseason game, so this is Haskins’ last chance to make a case for the starting job. In his most recent game he had an amazing long touchdown pass, but once again made some critical mistakes.
TE Vernon Davies did have high praise for Haskins.
“He has the ability, the potential to be one of the all-time greats cause of his arm strength and what he brings to the team. This kid is unbelievable.”
Unfortunately, Derrius Guice still hasn’t been cleared for game action, so we won’t be seeing him here. Guice missed his entire rookie season with an ACL tear, and he’s dealt with complications since then. With Guice still on the shelf, the immortal Adrian Peterson seems primed to once again lead the backfield. Washington does have some intriguing young skill position players, and their receiving corp is pretty deep even if there isn’t much elite talent at the top.
Big Year For Falcons
The Falcons are heading into a pivotal year. They’re a few years removed from their Super Bowl run now, and they’ve been trending downhill ever since. Gruden isn’t going to be the only one coaching for his job, as Dan Quinn will be on the hot seat as well. If Quinn doesn’t make it back to the playoffs in 2019, he’ll very likely find himself out of a job next offseason. The Falcons fired both of their coordinators after the season, and they’re going to need another MVP caliber season from Matt Ryan to elevate them. The Falcons played in the Hall of Fame game, so this is actually their fourth exhibition contest.
Things haven’t gone so well so far, as they enter this one at 0-3. Things got off to an unfortunate start, as they lost backup quarterback Kurt Benkert for the season with a shoulder injury. That forced them to sign Matt Simms off the street, who randomly had to play a ton. The Falcons have been very cautious with Ryan and haven’t played him yet, so he likely won’t see much action at all here even though it’s the dress rehearsal. Unfortunately, that means we’re going to have to see more of Simms here, as well as plenty of Matt Schaub. As for their ground game, Brian Hill and Ito Smith will continue to battle it out to see who can be the second option behind Devonta Freeman.
Updated on Aug 22 at 11:00am EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
The Redskins started the week at +1, but they are now -3 and that is despite the fact that the bets have been split 50/50. We know who the Sharps like and that is the Skins.
Injury / Weather Report
Washington’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: RB Derrius Guice, LB Shaun Dion Hamilton, Center Chase Roullier, WR Robert Davis, and DB Quinton Dunbar
Doubtful: QB Colt McCoy
Out: RB Shaun Wilson, BD Adonis Alexander, Trent Williams, DB Danny Johnson, and RB Bryce Love.
Atlanta’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: DB Damontae Kazee, WR Marcus Green, DB Kendall Sheffield, and DB Ricardo Allen
Out: LB Foyesade Oluokun and OL Kaleb McGary
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like the Redskins a lot here. This game means a lot more to Washington, and both Haskins and Keenum will be going all out here to make good final impressions before a starter is named. The Falcons clearly don’t care much about the preseason, as evidenced by their decision not to play Ryan yet, and they’re already 0-3.
Full-Game Total Pick
I also like the over a lot here. As I just mentioned, Haskins and Keenum will both be leaving it all on the field here. Both defenses have struggled, as the Redskins have given up 53 points in their two games while the Falcons have given up 56 points in their last two games. Haskins should only continue to get better here, and this one will be pretty high scoring.