Dec 23, 2012, Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons (91) rushes the passer against San Francisco 49ers tackle Joe Staley (74) during the second quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Word on the street is that Seattle Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons potentially tore his ACL. That unfortunate mishap could benefit the Falcons in a massive way when they play in the Georgia Dome on Sunday.
I would never root for a player to have an injury like this. It’s horrendous, and I would hate it if something like this happened to a Falcons. I’ll make that extremely clear.
But if Clemons has suffered a torn ACL, something that the Seahawks fear very much, Seattle could very well be without their best pass-rusher. Clemons had a very good season for Seattle, and was their primary source of pass-rush generation. He registered 11.5 sacks, with 40 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, and 4 passes defended. Very good numbers, a critical player on an outstanding defense.
Now we all know that the Falcons have struggled at times to protect Matt Ryan in the pocket. To not acknowledge that would be foolish. And the Falcons offensive line would have to be at their very best to successfully protect Ryan against a tremendous Seattle front-7. They will still have to be at their very best, but if Seattle loses their best pass-rusher for the divisional round matchup, that would absolutely help the Falcons out in pass protection.
Now there’s no guarantee that Clemons did tear his ACL. He could be fine, and could play, and this all could be one titanic rouse to fool the Falcons and everyone else in the league. There is also some history here. Back in his rookie season of 2003, he tore his ACL (I’m not sure if it’s the same knee or not). And if he is indeed out, that would help the Falcons in a major way. It could force Bruce Irvin and the rest of the Seattle line to press, and that could work in Atlanta’s favor.