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Seahawks opponent preview: Week 1, Atlanta Falcons


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Seahawks opponent preview: Week 1, Atlanta Falcons

By Tyler Alsin Aug 31, 2020, 11:00am PDT

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons 

 

As unbelievable as it seems, the Seattle Seahawks play football in two weeks. Week 1 kicks off on September 13th for Seattle in a moment that felt like it might never come to pass.

It’s time to talk about our opponents, pray for our enemies so to speak, and plan for their demise.

Week 1, Atlanta Falcons

2019 record: 7-9

Best stretch: four wins to finish the season, including at San Francisco.

Worst stretch: six losses in a row from Week 3 - Week 8.

MVP: Julio Jones. Matt Ryan has had plenty of moments, but has firmly cemented his place as not one of the five or six best quarterbacks in the league. Jones, is at any given moment, one of the three best receivers. He was second this year in Effective Yards, and is the more important part of the QB/WR combo on the 3rd highest yardage passing attack in the NFL.

Where they struggle: their overall offense and defense finished middle of the pack in terms of points. The biggest weakness is their rush attack. Atlanta ran behind a bottom-7 offensive line in most advanced metrics compiled by Football Outsiders.

Even more ****ing, however, is the 3.73 yards per carry from the Falcons running backs. That average was actually increased by all of the replacement pieces, because lead back Devonta Freeman only managed 3.6 ypc himself. Only Frank Gore, Kerryon Johnson, DeAndre Washington, Peyton Barber and a fresh-legged Le’Veon Bell were worse last year over 100 attempts.

Of the starting offensive line, only right guard Jamon Brown is gone this year. Far more importantly, however, is the departure of Devonta Freeman as Atlanta hands the keys to Todd Gurley.

AD

Gurley will be an especially interesting Week 1 opponent for the Seattle Seahawks who have played against him nine times as a member of the Los Angeles Rams. It’s hard to say he’s far from the player he once was, but it’s a very real possibility this year. We simply have no idea how bad those knees are, and the Falcons have already declared they’re taking it easy with him.

A diminished Gurley behind a bad line is still likely an upgrade over last year’s Freeman, but this is good news for the Seahawks in general. If the weakness of Seattle’s defense is going to be the front line again - and all signs indicate it will be - Atlanta is not going to be the team to take advantage of it. They’re primarily a deeper route two-prong attack with Jones and Calvin Ridley. As talented as those two are, they don’t have the additional receivers or tight end option to punish the open spaces in Seattle’s zone any more than they did in 2019. Last year, they put up 20 points, and it would be impressive to do much more than that this year.

Meanwhile, three of the best players we haven’t mentioned yet are all gone. TE Austin Hooper, DE Vic Beasley, and CB Desmond Trufant are Falcons no more. Atlanta has replaced Beasley with Dante Fowler, who’s comparable.

How the Seahawks would lose: I’m generally concerned about Week 1 Seahawks offense. Empirically I know I have no reason to be concerned, as they frequently take down juggernauts like the Cincinnati Bengals by... at least one point. If they don’t score much because they’re still running the ball eight times to open the game, it only takes Julio Jones two freak plays to score enough to be annoying. Crazier stuff has happened when playing Atlanta.

How the Seahawks win: Even a moderately balanced attack will eventually move the sticks against a defense that should be at best what it was last year. Meanwhile, Seattle is one Quandre Diggs, Quinton Dunbar, and Jamal Adams stronger than when these teams last met. An improved secondary forces the Falcons to run, at which they are bad.

Let’s do this! Seahawks 1-0

Edited by ADAMSVILLE GYM
clean up unknown links
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Last year we had Matt Schaub at QB against them 😂 They allowed the old fart to torch them for 460 yards. We 2 Missed Field Goals, had a Fumble on the Hawks 1 yardline and another fumble in their terri

This dude literally said beasley was one of our best players. This analysis means nothing to me lmao

I just cannot bring myself to have a conversation with someone calling himself booty-rocker.  Not going to happen.

1 minute ago, ADAMSVILLE GYM said:
ADAs talented as those two are, they don’t have the additional receivers or tight end option to punish the open spaces in Seattle’s zone any more than they did in 2019. Last year, they put up 20 points, and it would be impressive to do much more than that this year.

Meanwhile, three of the best players we haven’t mentioned yet are all gone. TE Austin Hooper, DE Vic Beasley, and CB Desmond Trufant are Falcons no more. Atlanta has replaced Beasley with Dante Fowler, who’s comparable.

 

Last year we had Matt Schaub at QB against them 😂 They allowed the old fart to torch them for 460 yards. We 2 Missed Field Goals, had a Fumble on the Hawks 1 yardline and another fumble in their territory on the brink of FG range... All that and they won by 7. 

Fowler >>>>> Beasley
The fact they listed Beasley as a "best player" tells me all I need to know about this writer.

Hooper was replaced by Hurst who will also produce similar results.
Trufant was replaced by a 1st round pick.

They need to do some more research next time.

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14 minutes ago, PriMeTiiMe said:

Last year we had Matt Schaub at QB against them 😂 They allowed the old fart to torch them for 460 yards. We 2 Missed Field Goals, had a Fumble on the Hawks 1 yardline and another fumble in their territory on the brink of FG range... All that and they won by 7. 

Fowler >>>>> Beasley
The fact they listed Beasley as a "best player" tells me all I need to know about this writer.

Hooper was replaced by Hurst who will also produce similar results.
Trufant was replaced by a 1st round pick.

They need to do some more research next time.

Yeah, and that was one of the hardest games to watch us bumble and fumble the Game away...  I'm pretty confident we are not going to see that this season..  I guess a bunch of sick games made AB have a meeting..  And that's a good thing.. I have never ever seen an off season like the one we have had.  AB on a mission now.. Go all out, leave nothing on the table , and get a team together like I've never seen the like of on this team.. AS the old Preacher used to say,, "Never saw it on this Fashion." After a great meeting .   

  Well, I think the meeting that came from the Boss after last years blowup at the start of the season,  was one that Quinn , TD & Co. could use that old preacher's term , I'd like to have been a fly on the wall in that meeting.. Because IMO ,, it worked.. Some will now say,, how do you know?  That's easy,,, Look at what has been done over the off season.  Trust me.. WE will be a top team this year.

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1 hour ago, LightningDawg58 said:

New Season, who dis?

We aren't the same as 2019 and neither are they. Week 1, with no preseason tape or snaps, is like a box of chocolates. You never know what ya going to get lol

They will have three new starters on their oline with no real live reps together. Should be interesting. 

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Considering how many times Ryan has dismantled the Seahawks, you'd think this writer would give him more respect. Or maybe he's just salty from the last time Ryan faced the Seahawks on MNF, in Seattle (where Ryan is 2-1; the only loss coming in 2016 because of an egregious no-call PI). For that matter, Ryan has a winning record against Russell Wilson's Seahawks (3-2, including playoffs).

Anyway, this guy is likely in for a rude awakening.

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2 hours ago, runshoot said:

This article and any future articles should be written as such "Which falcons are we getting? Pre bye week falcons or post bye week falcons?" One is a win and one is a loss for opponents.

I am cautiously optimistic but the Falcons defense in first 8 games of the season has been Historic dumpster in last 2 years. Hope Raheem Morris is keeping DQ quarantined from Defensive meetings.

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1 hour ago, Mr.11 said:

Considering how many times Ryan has dismantled the Seahawks, you'd think this writer would give him more respect. Or maybe he's just salty from the last time Ryan faced the Seahawks on MNF, in Seattle (where Ryan is 2-1; the only loss coming in 2016 because of an egregious no-call PI). For that matter, Ryan has a winning record against Russell Wilson's Seahawks (3-2, including playoffs).

Anyway, this guy is likely in for a rude awakening.

Dude literally said Matt has cemented himself as not a top 5 or 6 QB when he has been that for the majority of his career 😂 And he’s had some of his best games against Seattle like you said.

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47 minutes ago, falcons007 said:

I am cautiously optimistic but the Falcons defense in first 8 games of the season has been Historic dumpster in last 2 years. Hope Raheem Morris is keeping DQ quarantined from Defensive meetings.

I think that sums it up perfectly. Cautiously optimistic. We showed we could excel in defense, held NO without a TD. Gotta feel like Fowler is better than Beasley, gotta like Dennard at nickle and Keanu back. Have to at least think Takk at a lighter weight could see an improvement.

Raheem Morris lead D might be enough to help us win some games instead of DQ defense costing us games

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I will not make the mistake of the writer and analyze the Seahawks.  However, on the Falcons, I see several improvements and several question marks yet to be answered. 

First, in contrast to what the writer said, Fowler is impressing in a Training Camp that follows a break-out season.  While not proof he is the real deal, it is strong evidence.  I think we will see more from Fowler than we got from Beasley not withstanding one great season.  Remember, following his great season, Beasley did not impress in OTAs, TC, pre-season, or regular season.  He showed little signs of life.

Second, while I am not ready to crown Matt Ryan GOAT, to say definitively he is clearly not in the 5-6 best QBs in the NFL is biased.  I will not say he is or is not.  But to exclude him from the possibility is not rational.

Third, and this is where I may be biased, but there was something about Trufant's game that made me nervous.  He was talented.  He made some very good plays.  And, getting beat occasionally was not my issue.  Every corner gets beat occasionally.  I think it was his inability to intimidate anyone.  He did not hit.  He always seemed to drag receivers down.  Technically, that is a good thing if that is all you have the opportunity to do.  But, receivers would give up their bodies for a catch with Trufant on them.  I don't think receivers respected him. 

Fourth, Hooper was a proven contributor and Hurst is not.  I will give the writer that.  However, it is not something I would write as Hurst's potential appears to be such that it could prove embarrassing later if Hurst is equal or better than Hooper.  I think Hurst is going to be good, probably as effective as Hooper was for us. 

He is correct in that Freeman was done last season and we do not know what we have with Gurley.  Yeah, he made a valid point about the Falcons.

Now that I have cleared the smoke, at least in my mind, let's get down to the real questions with the Falcons. 

First, we do not know what we have for an OL.  The OL last season was poor.  It improved some later in the season, but was weak.  We had injuries.  We had Brown.  We played Carpenter.  Lyndstrom and McGary are healthy and ready to go.  They each have some live NFL experience to build on.  I like Gono and if Hennessey has surpassed him, he may just be a serviceable rookie.  And, that is all I ever expect from a rookie lineman. 

Second, the departure of Beasley improves the DL since coaches are forced to focus more on other players.  With the addition of Fowler, Davison, Davidson, and the recovery of Means, we should be improved.  Fowler and Davidson are receiving praise during TC.  Means impressed prior to his injury.  But, the loss of 1 player who did not want to play for the Falcons improves this DL.  As we all heard, Senat is senat impressing. 

I do not know what to think of our secondary.  We have players returning from injury, rookies, new FAs, new starters.  I cannot venture a guess what we will get.  I am hopeful the combination of the DL and secondary will give QBs a challenge. 

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2 hours ago, Mr.11 said:

Considering how many times Ryan has dismantled the Seahawks, you'd think this writer would give him more respect. Or maybe he's just salty from the last time Ryan faced the Seahawks on MNF, in Seattle (where Ryan is 2-1; the only loss coming in 2016 because of an egregious no-call PI). For that matter, Ryan has a winning record against Russell Wilson's Seahawks (3-2, including playoffs).

Anyway, this guy is likely in for a rude awakening.

I do think we will win that game.. But you can't ever count out Russel Wilson...  If he had all the talent we have this year. They would be unstoppable like we gonna be.   ;)

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I mean, I'm not saying we're going to win, but come on with the "Beasley is one of the best players" thing.  It isn't like we couldn't have re-signed him.  If you look at Fowler's contract, we save on cap space this season but next season is double what the Titans gave Beasley.  We could easily have wrapped him up if we wanted him.

Trufant too, for that matter.  It's like they think we cut him only because we needed the cap space.

Hooper, granted.  But I think they underestimate Hurst too.

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6 hours ago, PriMeTiiMe said:

Last year we had Matt Schaub at QB against them 😂 They allowed the old fart to torch them for 460 yards. We 2 Missed Field Goals, had a Fumble on the Hawks 1 yardline and another fumble in their territory on the brink of FG range... All that and they won by 7. 

Fowler >>>>> Beasley
The fact they listed Beasley as a "best player" tells me all I need to know about this writer.

Hooper was replaced by Hurst who will also produce similar results.
Trufant was replaced by a 1st round pick.

They need to do some more research next time.

Seattle sports personalities are as bad as it gets when it comes to doing their homework. I expect some level of homerism, but Heralding Trufant and Measley as top players is dumb even for a seabuzzards fan. I forgot they landed adams from the Jets. He's going to do a lot for that defense.

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