The Atlanta Falcons are coming to town to try to slow down the surging Washington Commanders, who have won five of their last six games. Head Coach Arthur Smith is being credited for being a part of making a Falcons team that was expected to be one of the worst in the league play competitive football and remain in the playoff hunt in the NFC. Smith is a graduate of Georgetown Prep (North Bethesda). Two of his players, Arnold Ebitekie (Einstein High School) and defensive tackle Derrick Tangelo of the practice squad (Bullis High School) also have strong MoCo ties.
Arthur Smith played a big role in the development of Derrick Henry as one of the best running backs in the NFL, turning the Tennessee Titans offense around, and helping the team make the playoffs in consecutive years before earning the head coaching job in Atlanta. Smith, who graduated from Georgetown Prep in 2001, guided the Little Hoyas to an undefeated season and an IAC championship as a senior. He was inducted into the Georgetown Prep Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017, just two years before being promoted to offensive coordinator for the Titans. Smith started his NFL coaching career when he was named the defensive quality control coach for Washington back in 2007. You may have also heard of his father’s company–Arthur Smith’s father, Frederick W. Smith, is the founder, chairman, president, and CEO of FedEx (the sponsor of Washington’s stadium).
The Falcons (5-6) take on the Commanders (6-5) at FedEx Field at 1pm. The Commanders are favored by 4 points and are a half game behind the 49ers and Seahawks, both 6-4, for the last playoff spot in the NFC.