Atlanta Falcons vs Washington Commanders Matchup Preview - November 27th, 2022

Editor

Sunday the Atlanta Falcons (5-6) will battle the Washington Commanders (6-5). Oddsmakers peg the Commanders as the favorite with an implied win probablity of 63%, leaving the Falcons with a 37% chance to record a win. The current spread is the Commanders -3.5 with a Game Total of 40.5.

Washington's primary disadvantage this season has been their offense, which has ranked #23 in football with a low 309 yards per game. They've been so ineffective on offense in large part because of their ground attack, clocking in at #29 in the league with just 3.77 yards per carry. The most important component of a strong ground game is a good offensive line. If the line isn't opening up holes and creating space, it doesn't matter how good a team's running backs are. Unfortunately for Washington, their line ranks #7-worst in the league in run blocking. Perhaps because they routinely failt to successfully establish the run, Washington has also lacked effectiveness through the air. They've scraped together a measly 6.4 yards per target, ranking the bottom 10 in football. This presents a decided disadvantage for Washington given that the Falcons run defense has thrived this year, allowing a mere 4.61 yards per carry (good for #16-best in the NFL). When it comes to their defense, the Commanders check in at #10 in football when it comes to total yards allowed per game. Opposing air attacks have notched 214 yards per game against Washington this year (#17 in football). Opposing ball-carriers have ranked #8 against them with 4.3 yards per ground attempt. This Commanders defense hits their peak effectiveness when it comes to defending opposing running backs, allowing them to complete just 73% of their passes (#4-lowest in the league). Washington's defensive effectiveness bottoms out when it comes to defending opposing wide receivers, who have scorched them for 151 yards per game (#9-worst in the league).

Atlanta's biggest weakness has been their offense, ranking #29 in the league with a mere 293 yards per game. They've failed so much on offense in large part because of their passing attack, which checks in at #2-worst in football with 168 yards per game. Perhaps because they haven't been able to move the ball through the air, defenses have been able to stack the box against them to help stop the run, bringing up an extra defender 17.6% of the time. In terms of their defense, the Falcons have ranked #32 in the league in total yards allowed per game. Opposing offenses have passed for 268 yards per game through the air against them (#31 in football). On the ground, opposing ball-carriers have ranked #16 with 4.61 yards per carry. Atlanta has been least effective in shutting down opposing wide receivers, giving up 180 yards per game (#1-worst).

Atlanta Falcons Insights

  • The Sharp Model projects Marcus Mariota to be a more integral piece of his team's rushing attack this week (23.2% projected Carry Share) than he has been this year (12.8% in games he has played).

  • Cordarrelle Patterson has accrued far fewer air yards this season (2.0 per game) than he did last season (16.0 per game).

  • The Washington Commanders pass defense has performed very well when opposing TEs have gotten into space, allowing an average of 3.86 yards-after-the-catch this year: the 2nd-least in the league.

Washington Commanders Insights

  • The weather forecast calls for light rain in this game... which usually means reduced pass volume (and increased run volume) and lessened passing effectiveness.

  • The Atlanta Falcons safeties project as the 8th-best unit in football this year when it comes to defending the run.

  • The Washington Commanders have used play action on 34.1% of their passing plays since the start of last season (most in football), making the defense think run and leading to much higher passing efficiency.

Betting Trends

  • The Washington Commanders have covered the Spread in 5 of their last 6 games (+5.00 Units / 75% ROI)

  • The Atlanta Falcons have hit the Game Total Under in 5 of their last 8 games (+1.70 Units / 19% ROI)

  • Cordarrelle Patterson has hit the Receptions Under in 11 of his last 12 games (+10.20 Units / 60% ROI)