The Atlanta Falcons will face the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on Sunday. The Seahawks has the all-time series lead at 9-6, however, the Falcons have won four out the past five with two of those wins being at CenturyLink field.
Seahawks Offense vs. Falcons Defense.
The Seahawks offense ranks near the middle of the pack in total offense (375.5 yards per game), passing yards (264.5 YPG) and rushing yards (93 YPG). The Seahawks offense is also 21st in points per game (19.8 PPG). Meanwhile, the Falcons defense has allowed the seventh-most amount of yards per game (388.8 YPG), sixth-most passing yards per game (290.2 YPG), fifth-most amount of points given up per game (28 PPG). Although they do allow the 15th least amount rushing yards per game (98.6 YPG). (All statistics are from NFL.com)
Seahawks Offensive line vs. Falcons Defensive line
The Seahawks offensive line is the polar opposite of that of the Falcons. Letting JR Sweezy go and trading Russell Okung as weakened their offensive line to one of, if not, the worst offensive lines in all of football. First round rookie tackle Germain Ifedi isn’t likely to help that cause. According to rotoworld, Ifedi struggled throughout college with his footwork and hand placement.
For the Falcons, they have the speedy Vic Beasley, who is coming off a 3.5 sack game in which he also forced two fumbles. This week the Falcons will need the interior defensive line to make a big enough push in order to make it difficult for Russell Wilson to step up if Beasley or Dwight Freeney get around the edge. The Falcons defensive line will likely need another good showing like last week to prove it wasn’t just a fluke.
Getting pressure on the injured Wilson early and often can help create turnovers and let the Falcons offense dictate the game. The Falcons defensive line has the advantage here. There’s something that Falcons fans have been wishing to hear over the past three years.
Seahawks Skill positions vs. Falcons Linebackers and Defensive Backs
Checking the Friday injury report Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett, and Jimmy Graham will all play but are going to be banged up. As Scott Carasik said on his Falcons podcast, hit and knockdown Wilson to make him feel the injuries and take away his running aspect which has been very important to him when extending plays. The Seahawks have a plethora of offensive weapons in Baldwin, Lockett, Graham, Michael, etc. but like the Broncos, they won’t be able to do much with these play-makers if the offensive line can’t block.
The Falcons linebacker corps are getting a big boost this week with rookies De’Vondre Campbell and Deion Jones returning, Jones give the Falcons linebackers that extra speed they need to cover screens and stop the run.
While Campbell gives the pass defense size and speed for covering tight end Jimmy Graham.
The Falcons cornerbacks have had their up and downs this year. Desmond Trufant is turning in another Pro-Bowl season, while his partner in crime Robert Alford struggles with penalties (32 since his debut in 2013). Don’t get me wrong, Alford is a very good cover corner but he will never take it to another level unless he becomes more discipline. Keep an eye out for who the Falcons play at nickel CB this week. Undrafted rookie Brian Poole has played well but Jalen Collins may take some snaps away. Free safety and leader Ricardo (Rico) Allen hasn’t played as well as last year but managed to make a very good int last week against Lynch. Keanu Neal has been great so far this year, even ranking as the third best player in week 5!
The Seahawks play makers make me put them as to having the advantage here. Although the rookies for the Falcons could change this around for them.
Final Thoughts: The Seahawks Offense gets slight edge over the young Falcons defense.
The Falcons defense has the potential to be something special if they stay healthy and grow together. The Seahawks offense with established and proven play makers will need to game plan around their weak Oline. I give the edge to Russell Wilson because he has shown himself to be a top 10 quarterback. Whether or not he can hold up will be something to watch come Sunday.