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Run Defense Exposed as Falcons Run Away with 31-17 Win

If it’s not the offense, it’s the defense. Sunday at the Georgia Dome, it was the Redskins run defense that lost another game, as Falcons star back Michael Turner blasted his way for 166 yards on 18 carries, a 9.2 yard per carry average and two scores as the Falcons topped the struggling Redskins 31-17.

The Skins fall to 2-6 on the season, and lost leading rusher Clinton Portis early in the game with a concussion. Jason Campbell was 15-for-22 for 196 yards with a touchdown and a pick. Todd Collins was 4-for-5 for 12 yards for the Skins, who put up 312 yards of offense, but played from behind all day.

The team got within 7 at 24-17 early in the fourth quarter when Campbell hit Todd Yoder with a 3-yard score, but Turner put Atlanta ahead for good with a 58-yard score with 11:23 left to seal the win, making it 31-17. Ladell Betts ran for 70 yards on 15 carries and a score for Washington.

The Redskins in the first half in falling behind 24-3 had five possessions, punting three times, losing the ball on a pick, and then getting their only points of the half with a field goal. The Falcons had five possessions, scoring two touchdowns, and also losing the ball on a punt and an interception.

The win for Atlanta breaks their two-game losing streak as they improve to 5-3 on the season. The Falcons also got an efficent day from QB Matt Ryan, who went 17-for-24 for 135 yards with a touchdown to tight end Tony Gonzalez and a pick with a QB rating of 81.1.

The heat will remain on Jim Zorn, more than ever after this latest ugly outing that puts the team further than ever back in the NFC East.

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