Week 11 Tale Of The Tape: Atlanta Falcons At Seattle Seahawks
- QuarterbackThe Falcons are coming off their best game of the season as they pounded the Cowboys. Matt Ryan needs to replicate that effort against the Seahawks, and do it on the road. Ryan has not had the MVP form that he did a year ago, and he needs to hit a couple of big plays early to send a message to the Seahawks. He is completing 66.6 percent of his passes and has a 13-8 TD-interception ratio.Russell Wilson has been on top of his game, and he will try to put on a show in this Monday night game. Wilson’s athleticism in the pocket and courage running with the ball makes him a special weapon. Wilson is averaging 267.8 yards per game with 19 TD passes, and he is also the team’s leading rusher with 290 yards and three runs of 20 yards or more.
- OffenseThe Falcons took a serious blow against the Cowboys when Devonta Freeman went out of the game early with a concussion. His status against the Seahawks has not been determined. Tevin Coleman is a strong backup, but the Falcons can be expected to depend on Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu even more if Freeman is not at his best.The Seattle ground game is not what it was early in the season without Chris Carson, and the Seahawks have to do most of their damage through the air. Doug Baldwin is a sensational receiver who displays his toughness, desire and skill every time he steps on the field. Paul Richardson has five TD receptions and is a solid complement, while TE Jimmy Graham has six TD catches and is quite dangerous.
- DefenseIt looked like a star was born as Adrian Clayborn registered 6.0 sacks of Dallas QB Dak Prescott and now has 8.0 for the season. If Clayborn can register multiple sacks here, it will be a huge boost for the Falcons defense. MLB Deion Jones is an underrated player who leads the Falcons with 75 tackles, while hard-hitting SS Keanu Neal is right behind with 65 tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.The Seahawks are used to dominating the league on defense, but they have slipped to the 13th spot in yards allowed. While they have several problems, including the season-ending Achilles injury suffered by CB Richard Sherman, the play of MLB Bobby Wagner is not one of them. He leads the team with 83 tackles and six passes defense, and is the best player at his position in the league.
- Special TeamsThe Falcons have been fairly ordinary on special teams as they have done a decent job in punt and kickoff coverage, but Andre Roberts has not given them much as a returner. Matt Bryant has long been one of the game’s best kickers, and has made 17-of-20 FG attempts this season.The Seahawks have become rather ordinary in this area after years of being near the top of the rankings. Tyler Lockett has explosive speed and is capable of breaking a long punt or kickoff return, while PK Blair Walsh has made 14-of-18 FG attempts.
The Falcons have not played to the level they did last year, but they are coming off their best game of the year. They must build off that effort if they are going to beat the Seahawks on the road.