A surprising match-up between beasts of the NFC unfolds during the second wave of Week 6 games as the 4-1 Atlanta Falcons take their show to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Seattle Seahawks and their rabid home crowd.
Nobody, myself included, predicted the Falcons to look this good this season. Last year they were filled with glaring weaknesses, and though their record is likely a tad inflated, it’s no longer a secret that this is a much-improved group.
That said, Atlanta will face a very stiff test taking on the 3-1 Seattle Seahawks on their own field. Pete Carroll’s squad is coming off of a valuable bye week and this has allowed time for some injuries to heal, most notably to star QB Russell Wilson.
Right now these could be two of the top teams in all of the NFC. The Seahawks were expected to be here, but the Falcons are fighting to remain in the conversation. This should be a game that separates the pretenders from the contenders, and we’ve got you covered here at TheSportsGeek. Read on below for a full game breakdown, analysis, and an official betting selection for Week 6’s Falcons/Seahawks showdown.
Falcons vs. Seahawks Betting Odds:
Atlanta Falcons +7 (-115)
@ Seattle Seahawks -7 (-105)
Over 45 (-110)
Under 45 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Falcons vs. Seahawks Pick:
Last week the Falcons showed off some more impressive stuff as they walked right into Denver and won. Matt Ryan was good against a solid defensive unit from the Broncos, and he was effective in using his running backs (Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman) as pass-catchers coming out of the backfield.
That was great for Denver, but that strategy will not fly against the Seahawks. Seattle boasts an amazing crew of linebackers who feast on that kind of stuff. The Seahawks have an amazing back seven within their defence, and this is a team that will not struggle to contain Freeman and Coleman coming out of the backfield. The Falcons will likely try it a couple of times, and then realize that it’s not going to work in Seattle. Making matters even worse in terms of in-game match-ups is the fact that Julio Jones will be completely blanketed and taken away in Seattle. The ‘Legion of Boom’ looks stronger than ever, and there won’t be much room to do anything. Richard Sherman talks a lot but he also backs it up with great playing ability. Against Brandon Marshall, he ultimately made the game-deciding play, and look for a similar fate for Julio and the Falcons offense come Sunday afternoon. All in all, it will be very difficult for Atlanta to move the chains this week. This is something they’re not really all that used to and it will be intriguing to see how they handle this in a pretty hostile atmosphere. There aren’t weaknesses in Seattle’s stop unit, both on the ground and through the air first downs won’t be coming easy.
For Seattle’s offence, look for a revamped approach to blocking on the offensive line to better protect Russell Wilson. This had been an issue through their first four contests, and I expect their coaching staff to have re-jigged this somewhat to work to their benefit. Atlanta has gotten by in previous weeks with a stellar pass rush, but that won’t work against Russell Wilson. The Jets tried the same thing a few weeks back, and Wilson was adept at making the smart decision quickly, and moving the football for positive yardage. Wilson will have success going deep against the Atlanta secondary, and I’m certain his mobility has returned with extra rest from the bye week.
Seattle will also be good to go in terms of the running game, led by Christine Michael. Atlanta hasn’t really seen a proper ground and pound yet, since they’ve been getting so far ahead of the teams they’ve beaten. That won’t be the case at all in Week 6, so expect the Seahawks to establish control of the trenches, and play a little smashmouth football in short yardage situations.
There are big liabilities remaining with this still untested Falcons team. This is a big one for them, and I expect them to fall flat on their faces. They’re not ready to stay with Seattle on their home field, and the Seahawks really match-up well with Atlanta. Expect Pete Carroll to have used the bye-week to his full advantage, and look for the Seahawks to turn in a signature win, with solid defense and great playmaking from Russell Wilson. The forecast also is calling for a very windy game come kickoff time, something that plays right into the hands of the Seahawks. Roll with Seattle on Sunday.
PICK = Seahawks -7 (-105)