For the second consecutive week, the Atlanta Falcons bring their high-powered offense on the road to take on another stout defense in the Seattle Seahawks. Last week against the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Denver Broncos, the Falcons took advantage of the Broncos starting a rookie quarterback in the place of starter Trevour Siemian. However, against the Seahawks, that will not be the case.
To go along with the Seahawks top-ranked defense, they are capable of lighting up the scoreboard as well. The Falcons defense will have to deal with weapons such as Jimmy Graham, Doug Baldwin, and Russell Wilson.
Even though Wilson has grown into becoming a more efficient passer from the pocket, let’s not forget that Wilson is still dangerous as a runner.
Last week against the Broncos “No Fly Zone” defense, wide receiver Julio Jones could not repeat his 300-yard performance against the Carolina Panthers. Jones was held to only 29 receiving yards; I expect Jones to have an even tougher time against the “Legion of Boom” this Sunday.
To make up for Jones lack of production in the passing game, the Falcons can hurt the Seahawks defense by successfully running the football with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. If you watched any of the Seahawks games in the past during the Pete Carroll Era, you know that they can have issues stopping the run if the opposing team have a legitimate option at the running back position.
The Falcons have two solid runners that could be a problem for the Seahawks rush defense. For the Seahawks to be successful against the Falcons, they must get tight-end Jimmy Graham involved in this contest. Graham present’s a matchup problem for the Falcons defense, even if they shut down Doug Baldwin, they will indeed have their hands full.
My prediction for this matchup is that they Seahawks will leave CenturyLink Field victorious and an increased lead in the NFC West. If the Falcons are not successful running the football against the Seahawks rush defense, it could show that they are a one-dimensional football team. Matt Ryan must get receivers other than Julio Jones involved in this ball game.
Photos courtesy of Seahawks.com