Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At Atlanta Falcons

Seattle Seahawks
Atlanta Falcons
(credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Winner The Seahawks are 8-1 and in first place in the NFC West, but they aren’t exactly rolling after their 27-24 overtime victory at home over the winless Tampa Bay Bucs. Russell Wilson and the Seattle offensive got off to a slow start and that could be quite costly against a struggling team like the Falcons that is desperate to get a victory at home.
Winner The Falcons have been broken by injuries this year and are just a shell of the team that got to the NFC Championship game last year. Matt Ryan does not have his weapons as Julio Jones is out for the year and Roddy White has missed the last three games, but some of it is on him. Ryan threw three interceptions in the loss at Carolina and he struggles under pressure.
Winner The Seahawks need to play with a bit more urgency on offense. They fell behind the Buccaneers 21-0 and that won’t work against a good team. While Marshawn Lynch is one of the best running backs in the game and punishes opposing tacklers, the Seahawks need to get wideout Percy Harvin into the lineup to give them a sense of explosiveness that has been missing.
The Falcons are almost certainly out of the playoff race at the halfway point – barring an unforeseen turnaround – so the pressure should be off. The return of Steven Jackson to the backfield is a positive development, but the Falcons need the return of a healthy White to give them more dependability. Tight end Tony Gonzalez is still a valuable red zone target.
Winner The Seahawks have been the most dangerous and explosive defense in the league, but that unit did not get its wake-up call until the second half against Tampa Bay. That cannot sit well with head coach Pete Carroll, who must find a way to get his team back on track without any more slip ups. Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner had a sensational game with 11 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
The Falcons have not been stout at the point of attack and struggle when the game is on the line. That’s not a good combination. While they appear to have enough speed and quickness, the Falcons lost much of their strength against the run when versatile Kroy Biermann was lost for the season with a knee injury. Linebacker Paul Worrilow was credited with 19 tackles against the Panthers.
Special Teams
Winner If the game is close, special teams could give the Seahawks an advantage. They do a solid job in punt and kickoff coverage and they have the speed in Jermaine Kearse to make a big play in the return game. Steven Hauschka is a dependable placekicker while punter Jon Ryan can drop the ball inside the 20.
The Falcons are decent at special teams, but they are not as good in coverage as the Seahawks and Jacquizz Rodgers is unlikely to bring back a long return. Matt Bryant has been a dependable field goal kicker, while punter Matt Bosher has excellent leg strength.

The Winner Is

(credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Winner Seattle Seahawks
4 out of 4

The Seahawks are going to have to play much better than they did in Week Nine against the Bucs if they are going to beat a desperate team in Atlanta. Seattle usually finds a way to win, but they have not been at their best on the road this season.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor


  1. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Sam Bradford #8 of the Minnesota Vikings throws a pass in the first quarter against Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Vikings 21-10. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) GREENBAY, WI - OCTOBER 20: Running back Jordan Howard #24 of the Chicago Bears is tackled by nose tackle Kenny Clark #97 and cornerback Demetri Goodson #39 of the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Lambeau Field on October 20, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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  2. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles avoids Everson Griffen #97 of the Minnesota Vikings as he runs for a first down during the second quarter of a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-16.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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  3. GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football during the NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals and Seahawks tied 6-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 16: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers scrambles out of the pocked during the first half of a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 16, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
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