Concluding a west coast road trip, the Atlanta Falcons face Seattle on Sunday…
Prior to departure, the Atlanta Falcons (4-1) would have been pleased with a victory against either Denver or Seattle (3-1) during the rough two week stretch in the schedule. However, after recording a win over the Broncos last week, Atlanta is in a position to return home with victories over both.
Despite Atlanta’s prolific and versatile offense, it seems the toughest battle always lies a week ahead. After the Falcons scored a season-high 23 points on the Denver Broncos, the Seattle defense took over as the number one rated defense currently in the NFL. Sunday provides another difficult test for offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, quarterback Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ offense.
Through four games, Seattle has allowed only one passing touchdown. Opposing quarterbacks average a measly 66.2 quarterback rating against the Seahawks and have surrendered four interceptions. By comparison, Ryan’s current quarterback rating is currently 121.6 and he has tossed just two interceptions through five games.
2016 SEASON: ATLANTA FALCONS (4-1) at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (3-1)
KICKOFF: 4:25 PM EDT
LOCATION: CENTURYLINK FIELD
WEATHER: 54 degrees, 78% humidity, S 15 mph wind, 80% percipitation
LAST MEETING: 33-10, SEATTLE – Nov. 10, 2013
Winners and Losers: 3 up and 3 down
NFL Mailbag: Quarterback controversies and low ratings
Falcons News: Fantasy Football Week 6 – Start or Sit
Falcons News: Behind Enemy Lines – Seattle Seahawks
Falcons News: Three Key Matchups Against Seattle
KEY MATCH-UP: SPECIAL TEAMS
Another high-powered offense versus a stinging defense matchup awaits inside CenturyLink Field on Sunday afternoon. However, a quick look at the forecast shows that rain and windy conditions are anticipated throughout the game. Typically, weather elements lend an advantage to the defenses when playing in such conditions.
For the season, both kicker Matt Bryant and punter Matt Bosher have been performing extremely well. Bryant has converted all 11 of his field goal attempts while Bosher has been averaging almost 45 net yards a punt with over half pinning opposing teams inside the 20-yard line. For Seattle, Steven Hauschka is also a perfect 8-for-8 on field goals but has missed one extra point. The Seahawks’ punter Jon Ryan is averaging under 40 net yards with less than half of his punts pinning opponents back deep. Neither team has allowed or had a punt or kickoff returned for a touchdown.
Close games typically turn on an emotional play usually sparked by special teams. Whether it be a return touchdown, a bobbled catch that swings field position, or a missed kick – special teams’ play often decide games between two teams that are evenly matched. With the weather expected to play a role, these situations could be magnified for everyone involved. Seattle will have the advantage being at home, but expect the Falcons to execute just enough to continue flying high as they return home.
PREDICTION: Falcons – 24, Seahawks – 20