ATLANTA, GA- The Seattle Seahawks (8-1) will travel to the Georgia Dome to face-off against the Atlanta Falcons (2-6) on Sunday, November 10 at 1:00 p.m.
The Seahawks will be returning to the place where their playoff hopes were dashed by the Falcons earlier this year. Now they have a chance to squash any remaining hope Atlanta has left of making the post-season, if there was any left to begin with.
Key players to stop
Russell Wilson has been solid and steady throughout the nine games he has played thus far completing 63.5 percent of his passes. At times he has been held in check by teams that he and the entire Seahawks team were predicted to dominate. In week nine he threw two interceptions against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before narrowly pulling out a 27-24 win. The week before that Wilson was held to 139 yards passing; however he did throw two touchdowns, the only points they’d score, in order to win the game 14-9.
The point is that Wilson is a flashier version of Alex Smith that can actually throw the deep ball. His numbers are impressive in the fact that he’s smart and consistent. When you see him scramble from the pocket he looks for open receivers first, always keeping his head down field before running. He also doesn’t throw across his body or the field in desperate attempts to make huge plays.
This type of quarterback could present a challenge to the Falcons defense but I believe that the team can contain his play-making abilities. The wide receiver options on the team are good but not great. With Sidney Rice on injured reserve Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin are the two best options for Wilson.
Robert Alford, Asante Samuel and Desmond Trufant will not have an easy day, but it’s a day I see them getting the best of these receivers in the secondary. Rookie corners Alford and Trufant both recorded interceptions against Cam Newton last week.
Beast mode, or better known as Marshawn Lynch, poses quite a significant problem for Atlanta. The Falcons allow an average of about 116 yards per game on the ground. On a per play basis, Atlanta allows 4.5 yards per carry from the line of scrimmage. The Seahawks remain a very balanced team and have stayed consistent to feeding Lynch the ball, as well as Skittles, giving him on average 18.5 attempts from scrimmage per game. He also poses a threat to outside linebackers that will have to keep an eye on him if he catches the ball in space from the backfield.
Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman, all smack talk aside, are another pair that Atlanta will have to deal with. Against the Arizona Cardinals, Matt Ryan had trouble against Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson while being pressured at the line and threw four interceptions that day. Sherman without a doubt will direct his teammate’s attention to this and try to capitalize on Ryan’s misfortunes.
Falcon’s fans now have reason to get excited again because this week it looks like Roddy White will suit up, and he seems to be ready to play at game speed. He last suited up in game five against the New York Jets.
“I’m pretty sure I’m going to be out there on Sunday,” White said. “I wanted to get out there and have a full week of practice before I actually played in a game. This will be the first full week.” While no one can be sure how White will be used since his injury, it’ll be nice to have someone Ryan is comfortable with so that he can regain his confidence after these past two weeks.
On a side note Sean Weatherspoon was also back at practice after suffering a foot injury in week two against the St. Louis Rams. He was placed on the injured reserve list with a designation to return. According to NFL rules, teams are allowed to place only one player per season on IR with a designation to return, but they have to be out at least six weeks before that player is eligible to return to practice. He is eligible to return to the active roster in time for the Week 11 game at Tampa Bay.
Steven Jackson got his legs churning a bit during the game against the Carolina Panthers last week, netting 57 yards on 13 carries. This week the team has that same mentality again, except handing the ball over to him a bit more if Ryan begins to struggle.
I believe that Jackson and Rodgers have the ability to bail the pass game out here, especially since not too many teams will be expecting it from the Falcons right now. Doing something unexpected just might turn the tables on the opponent. All week they’ve been preparing for the Falcon’s pass heavy attack. I can only hope that the Falcons can get them to switch personnel to their run-stop defense and get them caught in a fast tempo two minute offense. However, I can only hold out hope for so long.
What do you think the Falcons should do with the return of Roddy White and Steven Jackson?
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