This game is something of a homecoming for Dan Quinn. He was defensive coordinator when the Seattle Seahawks made it to back-to-back Super Bowls and our defense may now be getting there at last. Now he coaches against his ex-boss, Pete Carroll.
Seattle took a major step back last year. Right after those Super Bowls, they dropped to 10-6 and couldn’t pass the Divisional round. Now, some have chalked this up to slow start tantamount to the one of 2014, but this overlooks that before the supposed turnaround in week 11, Seattle had played 4 out of their 7 games against winning teams, in which they went 4-7. Do you even count the rematch against the Cardinals? Because Carson Palmer’s bad finger that got the Twitterverse to laugh at him had been hurt by that time.
The Seahawks went on win a playoff game. Well, to say they won it is a stretch. More like Blair Walsh’s 27-yard missed field goal lost it for the Vikings. And whether they came close to beating the Panthers a week later is debatable. They had to kick onside, which has an 20% success rate when the opposition expects it. Maybe if Russell Wilson doesn’t throw that pick 6. Then again, you don’t know that having to punt from Seattle’s edge of the field wouldn’t have yielded the field position to get the extra score anyway.
What held the ‘Hawks back? Marshawn Lynch wasn’t the same after his injury in Green Bay and has since retired. The loss of this third down machine was and continues to be big. Also, the Legion of Boom no longer baffles even the best passing attacks. Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Nick Foles, a pre-injury Carson Palmer, and Ben Roethlisberger all torched the Legion, along with the favorite targets of these quarterbacks. Their run “D” remains tip-top, though.
With Seattle at 3-1, many think they’re the Super Bowl team again. I’m not convinced. As usual, they couldn’t beat the Rams away from home. The rest of their games have been against awful teams and they almost lost one of them. Instead of looking bad early because their schedule starts hard, they’re probably looking better than they are because they’ve only faced one worthy team and lost to them.
The Falcons? We’ve beaten a surging Oakland. We’ve beaten an awesome Denver. We’ve even cast doubt on whether or not the Saints own us at the anniversary of their Superdome. Despite Seattle’s strong home field advantage, don’t count us out! We’ve got precisely the kind of offense that gives Seattle trouble these days. And whatever you can say about Pete Carroll, he has never put together a great pass rush. Sure, the numbers are better this year, but they’re probably inflated by Miami’s offensive line of paper. And it looks as though pass rushing may be the only way to stop Atlanta’s offense.
My greatest concern is that while Seattle’s offense is kind of inconsistent, when it clicks, it scores a lot. We need our defense to do what it has for two weeks and take advantage of their bad offensive line.
I originally had this as the game we were definitely going to lose, but with the way the team is coming together, we have a chance. RISE UP!!!