Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/11/14
Seattle_seahawks_introduce_55bf
It starts with the coach In a classic NFL birds of prey matchup, the Seattle Seahawks are set to take on the Atlanta Falcons in a win-or-go-home playoff battle. Here is how head coach Pete Carroll will keep the Falcons grounded and winless in the postseason since quarterback Matt Ryan joined the dirty birds. Marshawn Lynch should carry the ball at least 25 times against the Atlanta Falcons. (Photo: Matt Slocum/AP) 1. ) Bring Extra Skittles It’s no secret that Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch is the best back still running in the postseason, and that Atlanta’s Defense is the worst against stopping the run.  This makes for a terrible matchup for the Falcons, and one Coach Carroll can and will prey upon. Expect Marshawn Lynch to handle the ball upwards of 25 times, as Carroll and the Seahawks try and keep the it away from the explosive Atlanta offense. Let’s not forget about Robert Turbin, either. He may be called upon to provide a different dynamic for the Hawks’ offense. 2.) Cable Vision If the Hawks are to have any success in the run game, it’s all going to start with the big boys up front—Tom Cable’s offensive line. Atlanta’s D-Line is undersized, but quick. They are good at rushing the passer, but they can be man-handled when trying to stop the run. This, like the previous point, gives the advantage to Seattle, but only if the Hawks are leading.  If Atlanta gets a lead, forcing quarterback Russell Wilson to throw, the O-line will have its hands full limiting the speed of DE John Abraham and the rest of the Falcons D-Line.  3.)  Dull and Boring? I find it amusing that the Atlanta Falcons’ official website is urging Georgia Dome fans to arrive early and be as loud as possible to throw Seattle off its game. Like crowd noise will hinder any success of the Seahawks. Apparently the Peach State has never heard of the 12th Man.  But it will be up to Seattle to stymie the crowd by giving them nothing to cheer for.  Coach Carroll should play the safe game and play for field position. I love the advantage Seattle has in its special teams return game. Nothing against Atlanta’s Dominique Franks and Jacquizz Rogers, but Leon Washington is a game-breaker and could put this one on his back with electrifying runs made easier by playing in a domed stadium. And if Seattle’s defense lives up to its reputation, Leon Washington will have many opportunities to field punts. 4. ) Secondary Strikes The production of Atlanta’s two big receivers, Roddy White and Julio Jones, will be mitigated by Seattle’s tremendous cornerbacks, Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman. But if these matchups are a wash, Atlanta will look to expose Seattle’s other defenders, and may hold an edge by targeting secondary receivers like Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzales. It should be Kam Chancellor who gets the Gonzales responsibility, as I just don’t see any of the Seahawks’ linebackers being able to shut down the ageless future Hall of Fame tight end. The Hawks need to run play action against Atlanta’s D. (Photo: Elaine Thompson/AP) How Coach Carroll opts to defend these additional threats is a big question mark, and may be the biggest advantage for the Falcons.  Throw in Atlanta’s reliance on the screen pass and the Seattle defenders will be in tough against the short-to-mid-range pass. A “tweener” LB/DE like rookie Bruce Irvin may thrive in this type of defense. 5.)  Play Action Heroes With everyone under the dome thinking that the ball will be delivered to Lynch on most offensive plays, he could be the most valuable decoy available.  Because Seattle runs the read option so well, the play action will catch Falcons defenders by surprise. Look for Russell Wilson, Michael Robinson and Zach Miller to have effective and timely gains as everyone will be looking for No. 24. Back to back East Coast road trips may be an influence on the weariness of Seattle, and Atlanta will no doubt come out swinging. It’s up to coach Carroll to get his players to weather the storm.  But if last week was any indication, being down early won’t take the wind out from the Seahawks’ wings. And much like the battered ship on the seas, a slow, plodding and methodical course will eventually lead to the destination: the NFC title game. Cheers, The Bartender CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE SEAHAWKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE AT NWSB!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

VCU G Briante Weber suffers major knee injury in loss

Short selling leaves hundreds of fans without S.B. tickets

Hamilton, Edmonds' spouses to appear on 'Real Housewives'

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix trolls LSU over Kevin Steele hire

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jerome Bettis elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Report: Duncan suing financial adviser, lost $20 million

Bret Bielema wanted Dolphins to draft Russell Wilson early

Nick Diaz apologizes to fans for skipping open workout

NFLPA President compares Goodell to a 2-year-old

NFL explains how Super Bowl balls will be prepped

2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class announced

Anderson Silva beats Nick Diaz in return to octagon

WATCH: 'SNL' mocks Super Bowl

Sabres had a horrific month of January

Ole Miss uses Katy Perry as prop in recruiting

PHOTO: Ezekiel Elliott gets new national title tattoo

WATCH: Rondo takes brutal knee to face from teammate

Pig auctioned off at halftime of college basketball game

Should the Super Bowl be played on a Saturday?

Underwear company shows support for Marshawn Lynch

WATCH: WVU player flips opponent the double-bird

Five NFL players who could be cap casualties in 2015

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 Hall of Fame class announced

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Tim Duncan suing financial adviser?

Five likely cap casualties of 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

WATCH: Tom Brady sings about balls

Missy Elliott to join Katy Perry at SB?

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.