Seahawks Insider

Atlanta Falcons by the numbers

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 8, 2013 at 9:58 am with 34 Comments »
January 8, 2013 9:58 am
In this Oct. 2, 2011 file photo, Atlanta Falcons Tony Gonzalez catches a pass to score a touchdown while being covered by Seattle Seahawks K.J. Wright in the first half of a NFL football game, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

SEAHAWKS’ OPPONENT THIS WEEK
Atlanta Falcons (13-3)

10:15 a.m., Sunday, Georgia Dome, Atlanta

This season: The Falcons, who won their first eight games of the season, claimed the NFC South Division and secured the NFC’s top seed and a first-round bye. Atlanta was 7-1 at the Georgia Dome.

Against the Seahawks: Seattle leads the all-time series, 8-5. The teams have never met in the playoffs. Atlanta won, 30-28, the last time the teams played – Oct. 2, 2011 at CenturyLink Field – but almost blew a 27-7 lead when Steven Hauska’s 61-yard field goal attempt with no time remaining fell short.

Stats and stuff: Coach Mike Smith has never won less than nine games in his five seasons with the Falcons, and he’s got the team in the playoffs for the fourth time. However, he’s also 0-3 in the playoffs, including 0-1 at home. … The week off should be beneficial to three defensive starters nursing injuries – end John Abraham (left ankle), cornerback Dunta Robinson (concussion) and strong safety William Moore (hamstring). The defense can use all the help it can get. Atlanta ranked 23rd in passing yards allowed (242.4 per game), 21st in rushing yards allowed (123.2 per game) but a surprising fifth in points allowed (18.7 per game). The run defense gave up an average of 4.8 yards per carry and led the league with eight runs of 40 or more yards surrendered… Abraham had 10 of the team’s 29 sacks. Linebacker Stephen Nicholas led the team with 97 total tackles while safety Thomas DeCoud led his more recognizable teammates in the secondary – Robinson (one interception) and Asante Samuel (five) – with six interceptions. … Offensively, the Falcons like to throw behind quarterback Matt Ryan, who has been the starter since his rookie season in 2008. Ryan ranked fifth in rating (99.1), fifth in yards per game (295), fifth in TD passes (32) and tied with Peyton Manning for first in completion percentage (68.6). Still, those are regular season numbers, and Ryan has yet to produce in the playoffs – compiling ratings of 72.8, 69.0 and 71.1 in three losses. … Ryan has a trio of dangerous receivers in Roddy White (92 receptions-1,351 yards-7 TDs), Julio Jones (79-1,198-10) and tight end Tony Gonzalez (93-930-8). … The running game, ranked 29th in the league in yards per game at 87.3, is led by Michael Turner – 800 yards and 10 TDs but a career-low 3.6 per carry – and the versatile former Oregon State star, Jacquizz Rodgers (362 yards rushing, 402 yards receiving).

Quotable: “We’ve got a zero in the win column in the postseason and until we get that rectified, they have some right in saying what they’re saying. But I think if we come out and play hard and play sound, I think we’ll get that first playoff win.”
– Safety Thomas DeCoud on the team’s previous postseason failures.

FALCONS SCHEDULE
Sept. 9 Falcons 40, Chiefs 24
Sept. 17 Falcons 27, Broncos 21
Sept. 23 Falcons 27, Chargers 3
Sept. 30 Falcons 30, Panthers 28
Oct. 7 Falcons 24, Redskins 17
Oct. 14 Falcons 23, Raiders 20
Oct. 21 BYE WEEK
Oct. 28 Falcons 30, Eagles 17
Nov. 4 Falcons 19, Cowboys 13
Nov. 11 Saints 31, Falcons 27
Nov. 18 Falcons 23, Cardinals 19
Nov. 25 Falcons 24, Bucaneers 23
Nov. 29 Falcons 23, Saints 13
Dec. 9 Panthers 30, Falcons 20
Dec. 16 Falcons 34, Giants 0
Dec. 22 Falcons 31, Lions 18
Dec. 30 Bucaneers 22, Falcons 17

Leave a comment Comments → 34
  1. Wow, that is a WEAK schedule. Almost amazingly so. How did they ever get that?

  2. It’s true. They got the Broncos before they started putting things together, and then a lot of their traditionally stronger opponents (Eagles, Cowboys) weren’t all that great this year. I suppose they can hang their hat on that shellacking of NYG. But yeah, not too many impressive wins, even with their great season record.

    My concern this game – obviously they’ve got an explosive offense, and I just hope that Ryan doesn’t pick us apart early w/his great receivers, and stake them to a league big enough that we can’t fight our way back. But overall, I like our chances, there’s not another team left standing in the NFC that I’d rather be playing this weekend.

  3. From John Clayton –

    The good news for the Falcons is that of the past five times a team was the No. 1 seed after facing the league’s easiest schedule, four made it to the Super Bowl. The St. Louis Rams parlayed a schedule with a .375 opponent winning percentage in 1999 to a Super Bowl victory over Tennessee. That was the third-easiest schedule in NFL history. The 2005 Seattle Seahawks, 2006 Chicago Bears and 2009 New Orleans Saints had the easiest schedule and made it to the Super Bowl. Only the 2001 Pittsburgh Steelers failed to convert.

  4. SOFT ATLANTA FALCONS >>> “THIS IS GOING TO HURT” <<< SEAHAWKS FREIGHT TRAIN

    Seahawks 49, Atlanta 17

  5. yakimahawk says:

    Audible please…But I hope your correct!!!!

  6. seahawk44 says:

    I like it Audible

  7. DisplacedSeahawkFan says:

    Ravens just released Sergio Kindle. I wonder if he’s capable of filling in for Clemons at Leo?

  8. I dont see a blow out coming…i would LOVE to eat crow however!

  9. There isn’t any salvation out there on the waiver wire for the Clemmons injury. It will have to be mostly the players we already have combined with an inventive, inspired game plan to overcome the loss.

    I don’t see a blow-out either but I’d love to be wrong. Hell, I’ll take any win, even if we can find a way to win by half a point ;-)

  10. Audible says:

    Here’s my reasoning…

    1. The Falcons choke in the playoffs enough to have people talking curse.
    2. Soft schedule (mis-placed confidence)
    3. We’ll be the only real bad-ass, smash-mouth football team the Falcons play this year.
    4. Carroll will let the guys continue scoring because he knows a blow-out win on the road against the #1 seed will strike fear into the hearts of everyone else we face.
    5. Oh, yeah…RW, Sherman/Browner, Lynch…they’re all going to have big days.

  11. jboard1 says:

    Audible, i would love it. I just don’t see a blowout happening. I think we will control the game on the ground, and strike big with play action. If our o-line can’t keep RW clean, he should be able to get outside and find open receivers or run to move the sticks. I am not so worried about the offense, as i am about parts of the defense. I think losing Clem is a huge loss. (it reminds me of the 9ers without Justin Smith a little bit). Hopefully we will not lose production in stopping the run. If we can handle that, we can work on getting a little pressure on Ryan and hopefully that’ll lead to some picks in the secondary. So excited for this game.

  12. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    i think lynch hits 200+ yards rushing another 50 receiving to carry this team to the championship

  13. Sekolah says:

    Yeah… all I wanna know is WHO among the WR’s on Atlanta’s roster want to play some hardball with Brandon Browner? LOL. Pierre Garcon sure thought he was man enough for the task. I kinda felt bad for the dude after the rag-dolling B.B. gave him, to be honest.

    It will be real interesting to see how the refs call this one as far as the physicality goes. The refs in that game against Washington kept things about as loose as it gets as far as the physical side of things. That really works in Seattle’s favor.

  14. jboard1 says:

    Sekolah, i think that is a huge part of this game as well. I agree completely, that the refs let an awful lot of physical play go unflagged, on both teams. I love the physical style that BB brings, but some of those take downs he did last week could have really hurt this team. I just hope they are careful and are not too physical at the wrong time. On the other end of the spectrum, the physical nature of this team gets into the head of opponents, no doubt. We have seen receivers all year get caught looking for the tackler before the ball touches their hands. That kind of scared play stems from this physical team. I just hope they are smart and dont get called for flags that will extend drives for ATL

  15. NYHawkFan says:

    The Kool-aid is flowing today! I like your optimism, but there’s still a lot of football to play.

  16. Sekolah says:

    @Displaced

    Kindle’s career hasn’t developed into anything quite like what was expected. I know he’s battled health issues, as well as personal off-the-field issues. He reads like a genuine rotten apple to me. But you never know. I doubt he’d come here and start at the LEO. That’s officially now Bruce Irvin’s spot. Kindle might be useful as a situational pass rusher, and as depth.

  17. seatowntp says:

    One of the things that sticks out on the Falcons’ schedule, other than the ease of it, is that December 9th, 30 to 20 loss to Carolina. I believe our offense will be able to points on the board against Atlanta.

  18. HawkFromDay1 says:

    I think we’ll just see a more traditional 4-3 in likely running situations.

    Could see some 3-3-5 given the Falcon’s passing ability. We definitely have great personnel to run more 3-3-5 with all our DB depth. Would love to see Branch, Bane and Red on the line there.

  19. rramstad says:

    I trust our defense, but I also think the Falcons do have a good offense. I think our offense can keep up with them, though, and we’ll definitely either make them punt a few more times OR we’ll get them to turn the ball over a few times… I feel pretty confident about that.

    I see this ending up Seahawks 35, Falcons 24 or thereabouts.

  20. Skavage says:

    Once again we face a formidible opponent, on the road, at an early west coast time (10:00 AM). Atlanta has arguably the three best receivers in their standard formation (Jones, White and Gonzalez). They also have a pretty good KR/PR. Their receiving group is known for speed and good hands. Quite possibly the most elite group in the league and they are playing on turf, indoors, where wheather won’t be a factor. On top of that they have an extremely accurate passer and an offensive line that is healthy.

    This is going to be a very, very tough ga,e. We’ll need to see Bradley work some magic in order to get pressure on Matt Ryan and we’ll need our CB’s to play some extra tough bump and run to knock there guys out of their patterns before they start. But most importantly, we have got to find a way to cover Gonzalez and slow him down. I’m worried that Trufant is a little too small to be up to that task. We might need to consider some exotic blitz packages that brings Trufant and allows KJ or another LB an opportunity to drop back into coverage and play Gonzo mean and tight.

    We’re also going to need a very special play or two from Washington and the return teams. Field position is going to be HUGE in this game.

    In summary: +2 in the turnovers, good field position via Washington returns, poor field position for them via good punts, and FAST pressure on Ryan. This will be our most difficult encounter all season, regardless of the stats or strength of schedule.

  21. rramstad says:

    Oh, and I agree with many other comments — I would expect that what we have on our roster is better than almost anything that is out there for defensive end, and would think that PC and JS would prefer to rotate a couple of younger guys OR possibly do some more unusual substitutions with some veterans that don’t normally slide over to DE — either one of those things would probably work AND would get us some good film and intel on our roster, invaluable for next week if we advance, helpful even if we don’t advance… they need to understand if we desperately need another DE or if someone on our roster can step up and be that third down DE, and they need to understand if Irvin can be Clem or if Irvin is just a situational guy.

    I also think the extra kicker tryouts are probably not going to result in anything super interesting, just because all the better kickers are on teams. If we got a guy in here just to kickoff and do extra points, saving some leg and keeping our guy fresh for field goals, that’s fine, but conversely, Jon Ryan did totally fine on those things and with it being a dome, and a week of practice, I bet JR can hammer kicks into the end zone and we’ll just let them have the ball at the 20, which is probably a safer way to go anyway, given how freakishly fast the track is at ATL.

  22. pabuwal says:

    The offense will have a lot of yards and a lot of long drives on Sunday. During the second half of the season the offense had a great points to yards ratio. Most long drives ended in TDs.

    This ratio was much lower in the Washington game. A lot of long drives and few points to show for it. Wilson missed a few passes, Lynch fumbled and Receivers slipped. I don’t know if it was big game jitters, Washington’s Defense or the poor field which caused this.

    In any event, they need to get this back to where it was a few weeks ago to win this weekend.

  23. I guess I have drunk too much of the funny green kool aid, because I have this feeling we are going to punch Atlanta in the face and then kick the crap out of them (oh, and win the game handily). Heres hoping the kool aid is true…..

  24. Dukeshire says:

    It’s interesting to see how much success Carolina had against Atl running a similar (at least loosely so) offense to what Seattle is now doing.

  25. Seahawks 31
    Falcan’ts 30

  26. SandpointHawk says:

    Um Pete and john might want to find out if Havard can take a hit….
    Boy can kick the pig….

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/news/20130108/havard-rugland-youtube-kicker.ap/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_sports

  27. thursday says:

    Looks like we signed Longwell. Was looking at his stats and it seems like he’s been pretty consistent with a better percentage than Hausch over most of his career.

  28. pabuwal says:

    They signed Ryan Longwell so they will need Jon Ryan to boot all those Kickoffs into the endzone.

  29. SandpointHawk says:
  30. SandpointHawk says:

    Give me a quarterback with a pencil-thin mustache!

  31. Man! that is a pencil-thin mustache!!!

  32. bbnate420 says:

    What a crap schedule. Giants win the only strong win of the bunch.

    Sekolah, Julio Jones is a 6’3″ 225 pound man. Garcon is not. I’m not saying he won’t have his hands full with BB, but he isn’t going to throw him around like Garcon or Steve Smith. ET better stay over the top too if BB is covering Jones. If he’s even, he’s leavin.

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