Falcons-Redskins today

January 04, 1992|By Vito Stellino

Site: RFK Stadium, Washington. Time: 12:30 p.m.

TV: Channels 11, 9

Radio: WBAL (1090 AM), WMAL (630 AM)

Records: Falcons, 11-6. Redskins, 14-2. Line: Redskins by 11

Last week: The Falcons upset the Saints, 27-20, in their first-round playoff game. The Redskins had a bye.

Last meeting: The Redskins beat the Falcons, 56-17, on Nov. 10 as Mark Rypien threw 6 TD passes although the Falcons were missing 3 key starters -- QB Chris Miller, CB Deion Sanders and OT Mike Kenn.

The series: The Redskins have an 11-3-1 edge in the series, have won 5 of the past 6 meetings and are 7-0 at home against the Falcons.

On the sidelines: Joe Gibbs, in his 11th year as Redskins coach, is 127-57 overall, including 12-4 in the playoffs. Among coaches with 10 or more playoff games, his playoff percentage of .750 is second only to Vince Lombardi's .900. Lombardi went 9-1. Jerry Glanville is in his second season as Falcons coach and his seventh season overall. He is 51-52 overall and 3-3 in the playoffs. With the Falcons, he's 16-17, including a 1-0 playoff mark.

What the Falcons have to do to win: Using their "living on the edge" style, the Falcons need to block 1 or 2 punts, get a big punt return from Deion Sanders and get to Rypien with their blitz. They never got to him in November. Since they're going to use the run-and-shoot offense and virtually concede the running game, Miller also needs to have a hot hand against Richie Petitbon's confusing defensive schemes.

What the Redskins have to do to win: Rypien has to hit the long passes the way he did in November. The Falcons figure to take away the Redskins' running game with the blitz, but they'll leave their cornerbacks, Sanders and Tim McKyer, one-on-one with the Redskins' Posse. If the offensive line picks up the blitz, the Redskins should have 2 or 3 deep shots. If Rypien hits them, it could be an easy victory. The Redskins may try to make it easier to throw with a no-huddle offense.

Injury report: Falcons: RB Mike Rozier (knee), CB Elbert Shelley (knee) are questionable; DE Rick Bryan (back), C Jamie Dukes (ankle), G Bill Fralic (elbow), WR Michael Haynes (ribs), CB Tim McKyer (back) are probable. Redskins: TE Ron Middleton (knee), CB Alvoid Mays (ankle), T Joe Jacoby (knee) are probable.

Outlook: The Redskins have everything going for them. They have Gibbs vs. Glanville, they're home where they're 9-1 in playoff games (7-1 under Gibbs) and where the Falcons are 0-7. Atlanta would have to spring one of the big upsets in playoff history to win.

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