NFC Game Of The Week
Atlanta Falcons (4-1) at Seattle Seahawks (3-1)
Falcons: Nobody saw them getting off to this hot start and they did the same thing last year before struggling to finish out the 2015 season, but this is a different team now. They’re in first place in the NFC South with a 4-1 record and look at who they beat in their last two games. They beat the Panthers at home behind a big game from Julio Jones and last Sunday, they beat the Denver Broncos in Denver and we all know how tough of a place that is to get a win. Let’s talk about their offensive line and giving Matt Ryan time to throw the ball from the pocket along with opening up holes for Freeman in the running game. This was the Carolina Panthers division for the taking once again but the way Atlanta has looked, we maybe thinking otherwise. This is their third toughest test in a row. They defeated both Super Bowl teams and now they travel to Seattle in a homecoming for head coach Dan Quinn.
Seahawks: When the season started, their offense was anemic and I truly think that was the best word to describe it. They were getting away from the running game and their offensive line had looked terrible and if you think about it, they haven’t really been the same since they traded away Max Unger. He was their anchor on the offensive line. The running game improved in their game against the 49ers and it didn’t look bad before their bye week when they played the Jets. I’ve also been impressed with how they’ve been trying their best to incorporate Jimmy Graham into their offensive scheme and he looks so much more comfortable now than he did last year. The bye week is done and now it’s back to business with the streaking Atlanta Falcons coming to town in a battle of division leaders in the NFC.
Falcons Player(s) To Watch: The rushing attack– Last week in Denver, they ran the ball really well on one of the top defenses in all the NFL and that will be key for them once again on Sunday on the road in Seattle. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman have the chance to establish themselves as one of the best running back tandems in the league.
Seahawks Player(s) To Watch: The pass defense– They faced a tough test in Brandon Marshall prior to their bye week and now, they’ll have their hands full with Julio Jones. These are the type of match ups that Richard Sherman prefers. He wants that match up with bigger receivers and he’ll get that with Julio Jones. The entire defense will need to get a pass rush on Matt Ryan and not let him buy time to throw it downfield.
Prediction: This will be a good one. The top rated offense facing the top rated defense. Dan Quinn knows the ins and outs of the Seahawks offense and he has a solid way of still being able to score even without getting Julio Jones involved. I’m picking the Seahawks at home in this one. Seahawks 24 Falcons 20.