Found January 11, 2013 on
NorthWest Sports Beat:
Robert Griffin III
To the Dome
The Seahawks are moving up, and I do not only mean through the playoffs. Last week the team was forced to play on a field that was little more than spray painted dirt. This week they play at the Georgia Dome, which has had FieldTurf since 2003.
Seattle is used to playing on FieldTurf, they became the first team in the NFL to use it when Seahawks Stadium opened in 2002. Actually, the Seahawks first played on it from 2000-2001 when they installed it at the University of Washington. The team also uses in at their training facility in Renton, Washington.
The Seattle Seahawks are 2-5 in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Then again, so are the Falcons. The two teams have never faced each other in the playoffs.
The Falcons have lost their last three playoff games while the Seahawks have won two of their last three.
What: Seahawks @ Falcons
When: Sunday, January 13, 2013
Where: Georgia Dome (Atlanta, Georgia)
Weather: 72 degrees (temperature is regulated inside the dome)
When the Falcons have the ball
The Atlanta Falcons had the NFL’s 6th ranked passing attack during the regular season. Both Anthony (Tony) Gonzalez and Roddy White had more than 90 reception this season. In fact, four Falcons had more receptions than the Seahawks’ leading receiver, Sidney Rice, did during the 2012 season. Atlanta had 44 offensive touchdowns this season, of which 32 have come via the air.
The Hawks could have a big day on the ground against the Falcons. Photo: Paul Sancya/AP
They will be facing the league’s 6th-best passing defense when they face Richard Sherman and the “Legion of Boom” on Sunday. The Seahawks’ defense ranked 8th in the league with 18 interceptions during the 2012 season. Seattle’s defense doesn’t allow many passing touchdown either. In fact, the only team who allowed fewer during the season was Atlanta.
It is a good thing Atlanta can pass well because they were the 29th ranked rushing offense during the regular season. Marshawn Lynch ran for nearly 200 more yards than the entire Falcons offense.
The Seahawks have the 10th ranked rushing defense and only allowed 8 rushing touchdowns during the season.
When the Seahawks have the ball
The Seahawks had the 27th ranked passing offense, yet they had the 8th most passing touchdowns. Luckily Atlanta isn’t very good against the pass. The Falcons were ranked 23rd in the league despite giving up the fewest touchdowns.
I already mentioned that Marshawn Lynch had more rushing yards that the entire Falcons team, but that is just the beginning. The Seahawks were the 3rd-best rushing team in the league and will be facing the 21st ranked rushing defense.
As much fun as stats are to talk about, I prefer to scout the teams and evaluate them. Like last week, I spent Tuesday watching film and game replays of the team the Seahawks are facing.
The rest of this piece will be a combination of my assessment of the Falcons and my knowledge of the Seahawks.
The Falcons’ offense
Matt Ryan can pick apart a defense. He has excellent ball placements and will throw his receivers open. Tony Gonzalez is a major threat not only because he has an ability to get open, but while pass blocking he seems to feel the pressure on his quarterback and releases his block to give Matt an outlet to throw to.
Bruce Irvin will be stepping into big shoes on Sunday.
Julio Jones and Roddy White both have the ability to beat coverage.
I think that Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner can handle them for the most part, though I see Browner being beat for at least one big play on a double move during the game. I would like to see the Seahawks use Kam Chancellor to cover Gonzalez, because putting Tony up against any of the linebackers is a major mismatch for Seattle.
The Falcons don’t have much of a running game, as the stats indicated. Michael Turner isn’t the bowling ball that he once was. He still has a burst of speed but these days he usually goes down from initial contact.
The Seahawks’ defense should have no problem holding the Falcons in the running game, even with Bruce Irvin seeing extended playing time due to the absence of Chris Clemons.
The Falcons’ defense
The strength of the Falcons’ defense is its secondary. They have a couple fast-playing, hard-hitting safeties in William Moore and Thomas McCloud. On the outside they have Asante Samuel and Dunta Robinson who complete their secondary. They are no “Legion of Boom”; however, they are good.
To be honest their nickelback is the one who scares me the most.
Charles Mitchell creates havoc on opposing offenses. He times his blitz well and flies around the field in the passing fame. He reminds me of a pesky mosquito.
I don’t think the Seahawks will have to throw the ball much on Sunday. The Falcons’ defense is terrible against the run. Their linebackers and defensive back cannot shed blocks, even their linemen struggle in that department.
Once Seattle establishes the running game the linebackers will be prone to biting on the play action. Robert Griffin III was able to run a read-option pass that was money against the Falcon defense before he got injured and left the game.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Darrell Bevell use a similar play during the game.
This is a nightmare matchup for the Falcons. The Seahawks should be able to control the ball and keep Matt Ryan on the sidelines where he cannot hurt them. I feel like I must be missing something; however, after watching the Falcons I just don’t see anything that leads me to believe that they can hang with the Seahawks.
Seahawks win in impressive fashion 31-17
CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE SEAHAWKS BLOG PAGE IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!
BEST OF MAXIM
It’s no secret that Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is one of the finest trash talkers in the NFL. He did his share of it during the widl card playoff game against the Redskins and, lucky for us, two things happened: 1. Trent Williams got mad enough to confront Sherman after the game and punch him in the face. 2. Richard Sherman was mic’d up. We get to hear the...
When Seattle took on Washington in the NFC Wild Card playoff matchup Richard Sherman was all over the field. Although he did not have a direct impact in the box score he was locking down receivers and laying licks on Redskins players all night long.
Sherman is known as a lock-down defender and is arguably the best cornerback in the NFL this year. The Redskins dominated the first...
The Seattle Seahawks impressed the football world last week with their comeback victory in Washington. As a reward for their efforts they earned themselves a trip to Atlanta to take on the top-seeded Falcons with a trip to the NFC championship game on the line. Despite the Falcons’ inability to win in the playoffs with Matt Ryan at quarterback, the Seattle Seahawks will still...
After the Redskins' loss to the Seahawks last weekend, OT Trent Williams had just about enough of Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman's trash talking, so he walked over to him as Sherman was exchanging pleasantries with Trent's teammates.
With his helmet still on, and in menacing silence something akin to Jason in Friday the 13th about to rip a sorry teenage camper...
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch missed practice
for the second straight day on Thursday due to his lingering foot injury,
reports Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk.
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch missed
practice for the second straight day to a lingering foot injury.
Crabtree points out that seeing Lynch’s name on the Seahawks’
Ever wonder how it might have been?
There are a few “what if” questions that come to mind right off the bat when it comes to the Seattle Seahawks, and I will touch on those for sure, but I want to take a look at some other questions that have had me wondering over the years.
The two big ones are Drew Bledsoe, and Super Bowl XL.
Of course they are, right? Was there any other bigger...
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has played in three postseason games since being drafted in 2008, he's 0-3, but says he's not feeling the pressure to win.
“I don’t worry about it. I don’t think about it,” Ryan said Wednesday before practice. “My focus is for this locker room and for the guys and the coaching staff that we're all together. We want to...
The Falcons and Matt Ryan have the worst match-up against Seattle if they want to get their first playoff win.
The Wildcard games disappointed for one reason, quarterback play. That will not be a problem this weekend. The marquee quarterbacks are off their bye weeks and are ready to lead their teams onto the field.
Here is a look at the games and my selection of the winners...
Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones gives position coach Terry Robiskie a lot of credit for helping him make the Pro Bowl in his second season.
If you catch a glimpse of Jones standing on the sideline during games, he's usually talking with Robiskie.
That's because Robiskie, with 30-plus years of NFL coaching experience, is rarely surprised by any move or decision Jones...
Declaring that “the Super Bowl has got to come through Atlanta”, rapper Big Boi of Outcast fame, was on ESPN’s “First Take” to share his thoughts on his home team. On the program, he suggested that Falcons players avoid two of Atlanta's big gentleman's venues before the big game with the Seattle Seahawks. “As long as everybody stays out of Magic City and Diamonds...
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. That's incredible!
Around the Falcons' headquarters, the player to whom coaches most compare Seattle rookie quarterback Russell Wilson is Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton, another quarterback smaller in stature.
With the Falcons gunning for their first playoff win on Sunday in their fourth try during head coach Mike Smith's five seasons...
For years, stats geeks and old-schoolers have been fighting over the importance numbers and trends possess when it comes to predicting future outcomes. The champion of the stats side of that argument is Nate Silver, who comes from the world of sabermetrics and who also happened to use his advanced system to predict the winner of all 50 states and all but one Senate race in November...
Matt Ryan is a native of Pennsylvania, who just so happened to decide that he would play football at Boston College. That’s not stopping actor Mark Wahlberg — who actually is from Boston — to think the Atlanta Falcons quarterback is one of his own.
Deadspin points out that the actor created a video for members of the Atlanta Falcons, wishing them luck in this weekend’s NFC...
Of all of the games this weekend, this might be the hardest one for me to write because I think it’s going to be the best game of the lot. On one hand you have the hottest team in the NFC right now fresh off of an upset win in Washington. On the other, the team with the best record in football and a quarterback with an amazing track record at home. Something has to give as the...
By now we’ve all seen the video of the incident between Richard Sherman and Trent Williams after the Seahawks vs. Redskins playoff game. What we haven’t seen is the mic’d up version.
Seahawks CB Richard Sherman was mic’d up for the entire playoff game. This video shows that he was still mic’d up when Williams confronted Sherman after the game. All I can say after watching...