The match up at the Georgia Dome on Sunday was between two teams who made the playoffs last year but have suffered abysmal 2013 seasons.
The Washington Redskins won the NFC East last year but entered play sitting last in the division with a 3-10 record whereas the home team, the Atlanta Falcons, who lost out in the NFC championship game last year, came into the season with Superbowl expectations, but due to age and injury problems the team entered play eliminated from playoff contention.
With both teams eliminated from playoff contention the most intriguing story line coming into Sunday's game was Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan making the solo decision earlier in the week to bench star Quarterback Robert Griffin III earlier in the week.
Washington played another sophomore quarterback behind the centre on Sunday: Kirk Cousins from Michigan State. It was a mixed day for Cousins who threw for 381 yards and three touchdowns against a porous Atlanta Falcons pass defense which ranked 24th in the NFL against the pass but also committed three turnovers as well as throwing a shaky pass on the two point conversion which would have given the Redskins their fourth win of the 2013 season.
However a clean connection in the corner of the endzone to star receiver Santanna Moss made the win possible.
Running back Alfred Morris also struggled in the ball security department for the Washington Redskins. Morris rushed for 98 yards but also coughed the pigskin up twice. By contrast free agent pro bowl running back pickup Steven Jackson punched it in for two scores for the "dirty bird" Atlanta Falcons.
Kirk Cousins' favourite target on Sunday was Pierre Garcon who hauled in 7 receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown, whereas for the Falcons Matt "Ice" Ryan connected once again with the ageless future hall-of-famer tight end Tony Gonzalez for six receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown. It was Gonzalez's 7th touchdown grab of the season.
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