The Atlanta Falcons will host the Seattle Seahawks Sunday afternoon, in an attempt to end their early-season woes. The 1-6 Falcons are coming off five straight losses and a game in which they may have lost their starting quarterback and franchise player, Matt Ryan.
The Seahawks sit at 4-2 and are only a couple of games behind the undefeated 49ers in the NFC West. They’re also coming off of a tough loss that saw their franchise player, Russell Wilson, throw his first interception of the 2019 season. The Seahawks also allowed a Lamar Jackson-led rushing attack run for nearly 200 yards in the game.
The clash in Atlanta could possibly work as a get-right game for the Seahawks, as Atlanta has been sub-par in 2019, to say the least. The game could also be the first in over 150 straight regular-season games, that Ryan doesn’t start under center. The over/under is a high one for the contest, set at 53.5, and Seattle is favored by 5 points.
Stop The Bleeding
After watching Jackson run all over the field on Sunday, Ryan, a statue in the pocket, is likely music to the ears of the Seahawks’ middling defense. Unlike in previous years, the 2019 Seahawks are anchored by their top five offense rather than their 18th-ranked defense.
The Seahawks defense is about as average as it gets this season, ranking between 15 and 20 in almost every important category. Yards per game, rushing, passing are all right around average for Seattle. Matching up against the Falcons won’t be as tough as some of their previous games his season.
The Matt and Julio Show
While the Falcons are struggling, their passing attack still ranks second overall in yards per game. Fortunately for Seattle, if they can stop the Ryan and Julio Jones show, the Falcons rushing attack is currently sitting at 29th in the NFL. To add insult to injury, Ito Smith has already been ruled out for Sunday. If you’re Seattle, you stop the pass, you win the game.
It’s been 154 straight regular-season games since someone not named Ryan started under center for the Falcons. This Sunday, it may finally happen. An ankle sprain for Ryan in what is basically a lost season at 1-6 doesn’t give Atlanta a lot of reasons to start him. However, like any great leader of men, Ryan has already stated he wants to be out there and will do whatever it takes to play.
While this Falcons defense isn’t what we all thought it would be after watching it go deep into the playoffs a couple of years ago, Dan Quinn’s squad is still slightly better on that side of the ball than his former employer. Although his defense isn’t great, combined with his knowledge of the Seahawks system, Quinn could pull a rabbit out of his hat.
The Tough Season Continues
Regardless of Quinn’s knowledge of the Seahawks, without Ryan, the only thing that he will be pulling out of his hat is an L. If Ryan plays and plays well, the Falcons have a shooter’s chance. Even with Ryan starting, though, how healthy will he be?
With a healthy Ryan, the Falcons’ shooter chance will be just that, a shooter’s chance, even at home. Their barely above middling defense and Wilson coming off a loss is a bad combination. Wilson doesn’t like to lose in bunches.
Atlanta’s inability to run the ball allows Seattle to focus on Ryan and his weapons, so look for the Seahawks to pour it on here. Seattle covers the 5 point spread this week.