Hot seat vs. Commanders: Falcons’ O-line must hold against stout tackles

FLOWERY BRANCH -- Washington’s defense is anchored by tackles DaRon Payne and Jonathan Allen.

“They are hard to block,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said. “They play the run really well. They are powerful. They’ve got good counter-moves as they assault the pocket.”

The interior of the Falcons’ offensive line will be on the hot seat for this matchup. Chuma Edoga became the fourth starting left guard this season when he played Sunday against the Bears.

“Chuma played well,” Smith said.

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The Falcons also have Jalen Mayfield, who started 16 games last season as a rookie, as an option. He’s off the injured reserve list and has been practicing during his 21-day activation period.

“We’ll see how the rest of the week goes, but I thought Chuma played pretty well,” Smith said.

Edoga, a former third-round pick who played at McEachern High School, was claimed on waivers Aug. 31 after he was released by the Jets.

“It was exciting being back out there, playing for the hometown team,” Edoga told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Glad we got the win, too. Just have to watch film and see what I can improve on and build off of that.”

It was Edoga’s first action with the Falcons. He’d been working at left tackle and left guard.

“It was good to get in there with those guys,” Edoga said. “They have played together for a while. I’m glad they really accepted me. I just had to step in and compete.”

The mild-mannered Edoga, was getting after the Bears. He was called for a hands-to-the-face penalty after one skirmish.

“I’ve got to work on keeping my hands low inside at guard,” Edoga said. “I’m pretty chill when I get off the field, but when you get on the field you have to turn it on.”

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Atlanta Falcons 2022 schedule

Sept. 11: Saints 27, Falcons 26

Sept. 18: Rams 31, Falcons 27

Sept. 25 Falcons 27, Seahawks 23

Oct. 2 Falcons 23, Browns 20

Oct. 9 Buccaneers 21, Falcons 15

Oct. 16 Falcons 28, 49ers 14

Oct. 23 Bengals 35, Falcons 17

Oct. 30 Falcons 37, Panthers 34 OT

Nov. 6 Chargers 20, Falcons 17

Nov. 10 Panthers 25, Falcons 15

Nov. 20 Falcons 27, Bears 24

Nov. 27 at Washington, 1 p.m.

Dec. 4 vs. Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.


Dec. 18 at New Orleans, TBD

Dec. 24 at Baltimore, 1 p.m.

Jan. 1 vs. Arizona, 1 p.m.

Jan. 8 vs. Tampa Bay, TBD