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Seahawks offense not underestimating young Falcons defense


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Seahawks offense not underestimating young Falcons defense

By Stephen Cohen

RENTON -- Looking at the Atlanta Falcons defense isn't quite like looking in the mirror for the Seahawks. It's more like looking at a mirror that shows you how you looked five years earlier.

Led by their head coach, former Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, the Falcons defenders are a work-in-progress, but they seem to be jelling at the right time.

Atlanta's offense has generated almost as much praise from Seahawks players this week as it did points during the regular season, when Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman and Co. scored a league-high 33.8 points per game. The same can't be said about their defensive counterparts, who ranked 25th in yards allowed at just over 371 per game 27th in scoring, allowing 25.4 points per contest.

That's to be expected with first-or second-year pros comprising more than half Atlanta's defensive starters, including first-team All-Pro outside linebacker/defensive end Vic Beasley Jr. -- who led the NFL with 15.5 sacks on the season -- as well as defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, strong safety Keanu Neal, cornerback Jalen Smith and linebackers Deion Jones and De'Vondre Campbell. Improvement throughout the season is also expected from a group so young, and the Falcons youngsters certainly did improve, allowing just 321.4 yards and 18.2 points per game from Weeks 12 though 16

Count Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and wide receiver Doug Baldwin among those impressed by improving unit.

"Those guys don't look like rookies, that's for sure, or second year players," Wilson said during a Wednesday press conference from the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. "They're going to be a great football team for a long time."

"They've got some talented guys over there," Baldwin said. "There's not many weaknesses on their defense."

A 38-32 Week 17 shootout win over the New Orleans Saints, who led the league in total offense, took some of the shine off their late-season improvement, but Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said he saw major growth from the group since the first time the two teams met in a 26-24 home victory for Seattle at home.

"They have grown a lot during the course of the season," Carroll said on Tuesday. "It's a great example of when you play the young guys, if you just stick with them, by the time you get past the halfway point or somewhere around there, they start to click in and they really become vets for you and play with experience."

Atlanta's improvement over the final third of the season extended to the turnover department, with Quinn's baby birds forcing as many takeaways after their Week 11 bye week (11) as they did through their first 10 games.

"Dan Quinn is one of the best coaches in the National Football League," Wilson said. "He knows how to coach those guys up really well. Those guys are flying around."

http://www.seattlepi.com/sports/football/article/Seahawks-offense-looking-for-consistency-vs-10850841.php

 

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Big leads at halftime means meaningless yardage for the opposition after the half.  Stats can mislead you.  The young guys have grown up over the past month.  They're playing with a passion that's plain to see.  The future is bright!

Edited by Carl927
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"They have grown a lot during the course of the season," Carroll said on Tuesday. "It's a great example of when you play the young guys, if you just stick with them, by the time you get past the halfway point or somewhere around there, they start to click in and they really become vets for you and play with experience."


This is the answer you give to those who always ask this question about starting a bunch of talent rookies that struggle. 
Edited by droopy1592
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