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7 things that have changed since the Seahawks beat the Falcons in Week 6


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Things could be very different in the playoffs 

 

The Falcons will host the Seahawks in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs on Saturday in a rematch of a game between the two clubs that took place in Week 6.

Seattle came away with a 26-24 home victory back on Oct. 16, but things could be very different this time around.

Here are seven things that have changed since that Week 6 matchup.

Thomas Rawls is in at running back 

 

In Seattle's Week 6 victory, Christine Michael was the leading rusher for the Seahawks, carrying the ball 18 times for 64 yards and two TDs while Rawls was sidelined due to injury.

Once he was healthy, Seattle waived Michael (who caught on with the Packers), and Rawls was dominant in the Wild Card win over the Lions, rushing for 161 yards and a touchdown.

Getty Images

Earl Thomas is out for the season 

 

Seahawks safety Earl Thomas had a key interception late in the Week 6 matchup with the Falcons, but was lost for the season with a broken leg injury in a win over the Panthers on Dec. 4.

Seattle's defense looked just fine without him against Matthew Stafford, but facing Matt Ryan and the Falcons in Atlanta will be a much tougher test. 

Vic Beasley has become a monster 

 

The Falcons selected Vic Beasley with the eighth overall pick in the 2015 draft, but he didn't pay immediate dividends while tallying just four sacks during his rookie season.

In his second year in the league, however, Beasley has turned into one of the game's dominant pass rushers, and finished the regular season as the NFL's sack leader with 15.5 on the season. He was held without a sack in four of Atlanta's first six games of the year (including that Week 6 loss), but has been on a tear ever since.

Tyler Lockett is out for the season 

 

Lockett suffered a broken leg injury in Seattle's Dec. 24 loss to the Cardinals. A versatile wide receiver and kick returner, Lockett finished 2016 with 1,560 all-purpose yards to go along with one rushing and one receiving touchdown.

Rookies Deion Jones and Keanu Neal have boosted the Falcons defense 

 

The Falcons have improved greatly on the defensive side of the ball in the second half of the season, and in addition to the play of Beasley, rookies Deion Jones and Keanu Neal have been the ones making the biggest impact.

Atlanta's top two draft picks of 2016 lead all rookies in tackles, and the Falcons allowed 19 points or less in four of their last six games of the regular season.

Seattle's offensive line has found its way 

 

When Thomas Rawls rushed for 161 yards and a touchdown in Seattle's Wild Card win over the Lions, he was often running through huge holes like the one you see pictured above. That's a testament to the offensive line, and if they've truly figured things out, that could help the Seahawks control the clock a little and keep Matt Ryan and Atlanta's high-powered offense off the field more than usual.

"I'm really fired up for the guys up front," Pete Carroll said after Saturday's victory. "They had a lot of garbage come their way, a lot of talk about them, and they're really pumped up about what they did."

Russell Wilson is fully healthy 

 

Wilson suffered a knee injury in Week 4, and while it didn't force him to miss time, it limited his ability in situations where he'd normally be able to scramble when a play breaks down.

Wilson rushed six times for just seven total yards in that Week 6 win over the Falcons, but as he's gotten healthier, he's become a threat with his legs once again.

After averaging less than two yards per carry through the first six weeks of the year, Wilson averaged more than five yards per carry over the last six games of the regular season.

http://www.foxsports.com/nfl/gallery/7-things-changed-since-seahawks-beat-falcons-week-6-010917

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7 hours ago, Falconcheff said:

They should make Campbell the spy... Beasley is too important to just have him patrol grass, while Campbell is a liability in scheme but a great read and reactor to something like a qb scramble...

I agree, Beasley spying Cam was effective because Cam is likely to look for the run early in his reads.  Wilson, on the other hand, has a far greater sense of when to extend a play and when to run.  We need Vic to put pressure on him.

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Thomas is out which is huge, but Chancellor and Frank Clark are playing who missed the first game. Anyone expecting an easier game is in for a shock. I think we are the better team, but this is the playoffs and anything can happen. Way too much overconfidence on this board. 

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14 hours ago, PriMeTiiMe said:

Easily the biggest difference is they had a bye week and the home field last time now we have the bye week and homefield.

Yes, I bye week to rest and prepare for the Falcons

No cross-country travel

But, most importantly, they will not have a biased ref that is blind to CB's mugging Julio.  

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33 minutes ago, Smiler11 said:

Thomas is out which is huge, but Chancellor and Frank Clark are playing who missed the first game. Anyone expecting an easier game is in for a shock. I think we are the better team, but this is the playoffs and anything can happen. Way too much overconfidence on this board. 

Lots of reasons for confidence. Seahawks are a terrible road team this year. They had 3 road games this year where they didn't score a TD.

Thomas being out affects their whole defense.

Lions, not a great pass rushing team, had 3 sacks, 9 QB hits and 6 TFL, if Stafford was healthy, Seattle doesn't make it out of the first round.

Lions missed several open throws, and dropped several more, not happening here. Ryan is accurate and falcon receivers have dropped fewer passes than anyone.

Falcons D is much improved since the first meeting. 

Falcons are the rested team this time.

Falcons: week 12 Arizona/ falcons win 38-19

Hawks: week 16 Arizona/ Seahawks lose 34-31

Falcons: week 15 SF/ Falcons win 41-13

Hawks: week 17  SF/ Hawks win 25-23, have to come from behind.

Hawks are a good team, they're hardly the juggernaut that won a super bowl. If there's anybody who knows how to beat the seahawks, it's Quinn.

Falcons are a better team, more rested, healthier and the loss earlier in the year means they can't possibly overlook them. Falcons should win.

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