Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Gonzalez in Hawks’ cross hairs

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 11, 2013 at 7:35 am with 23 Comments »
January 11, 2013 7:38 am
Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) makes a catch in the end zone for a touchdown as New York Giants defensive back Will Hill (31) and strong safety Stevie Brown (27) defend during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Rich Addicks)
Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) makes a catch in the end zone for a touchdown as New York Giants defensive back Will Hill (31) and strong safety Stevie Brown (27) defend during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Rich Addicks)

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan has a lot of weapons at his disposal. But one player Seattle’s defense will be paying close attention to is Tony Gonzalez, as I write in today’s offering.

Gonzalez leads Atlanta in receptions with 93 for 930 yards, including eight touchdowns. He is second all-time with 1,242 receptions and has topped 90 catches five times during his 16-year career, a record for tight ends.

Gonzalez owns career records for tight ends with 14,268 yards receiving, 103 touchdowns and 30 games with at least 100 yards receiving.

Gonzalez was voted to his 14th Pro Bowl at the end of the 2012 season, and likely is a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

But Gonzalez still has yet to experience a playoff victory – one of the main reasons he agreed to let Kansas City trade him to Atlanta four years ago.

“The biggest thing is just having an awareness of where he’s at, and understanding they’re going to look for him, whether it’s third down, red zone or whatever,” said Seattle rookie linebacker Bobby Wagner. “You want to make it as difficult as you can, understanding that he might catch some balls, but they should be difficult catches. He should have to work for it. Make his life miserable instead of easy.”

John McGrath of The News Tribune says receiver Roddy White and Julio Jones are I and IA for the Falcons. McGrath: “Memo to the Seahawks: White and Jones are not a fire-and-ice collaboration designed to balance each other’s weaknesses. They are a collaboration of fire and, well, more fire.”

The Seahawks have been efficient in the red zone during the regular season, but struggled last week against Washington.

Danny O’Neil of The Seattle Times writes that general manager John Schneider, the architect of the Seahawks, is more than happy to stay in the background.

Brock Huard of 710 ESPN Seattle breaks down Marshawn Lynch’s game-winning touchdown run against Washington in this video link.

Clare Farnsworth of writes that defensive tackle Clinton McDonald celebrated his 26th birthday against Washington last week by recovering a fumble. McDonald will be responsible for anchoring the defensive line inside in nickel situations on Sunday.

Dave Wyman of 710 ESPN Seattle writes that Atlanta might have the best record in football, but the best team in the league right now – the Seattle Seahawks – are traveling to Atlanta to take on the Falcons.

Shawn Clarke of The Sports Network previews the game here. He picks the Falcons 24-17.

Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. previews the game here after watching both teams on tape. He also likes the Falcons 24-17. You must be an ESPN Insider to view this. Williamson: “Atlanta, where the Falcons were 7-1 this year, is an extremely difficult place to play. Although Lynch is primed for a massive game, the Falcons are the fresher team. Their dynamic passing attack will eventually prevail in an excellent game.”

Bill Barnwell of Grantland likes the Falcons 24-20 over the Seahawks, and says the key is Seattle’s inability to stop the run during the second half of the season. According to Barnwell, on first-and-10 carries in two-score situations during the first half of the season the Seahawks are giving up 5.6 yards per rush attempt. Seattle only gave up 3.8 yards per rush attempt in that same situation in the first half of the season. Barnwell: “In short, teams are running for 10 or more yards on the Seahawks in their most basic situation nearly twice as frequently during the second half of the season. Furthermore, this isn’t a stat influenced by one big play: The Seahawks haven’t allowed a carry of more than 28 yards in this situation all year. Instead, Seattle has been getting sliced and diced by opposition running games all second half.”

Statician Nate Silver predicts a Patriots-Seahawks rematch in the Super Bowl in this video link.

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution breaks down the match-up between Atlanta’s passing offense vs. Seattle’s pass defense. He gives the advantage to the Falcons.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 23
  1. Dukeshire says:

    Mr. Barnwell might be surprised to learn that Seattle is 6-1 against teams who rank in the top 10 in rushing, this year.

  2. Man, i just can’t get a good grip on my thoughts for this game. One minute i think the Hawks got this, the next i think Atlanta is just going to be lights out. I just want it to be Sunday morning already!

  3. Ewalters7354 says:

    Or how about the Falcons inability to actually run the ball? We aren’t facing a running team this week.Matt Ryan will want to challenge our corners and will throw it at least 40 times.Barnwell must think we are play the Redskins

  4. sluggo42 says:

    It will be a hard fought victory for the hawks…

  5. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Imagine what our offense would be like if we had Jones, White and Gonzalez?
    Big challenge for our D forsure.

    We may have to score 30 + points to win this game, and I don’t see much of a problem with this team doing that.

    Seahawks- 35

    Falcons – 28

  6. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    i still think like the skins game the hawks find a way to dominate most of the game.

  7. Personally, I’m glad most of the prognosticators are picking Atlanta. After following the Seahawks since the team’s inception, I’ve become far more comfortable in the underdog role.

  8. NWPoseidon says:

    I think everyone is overthinking this game. If we are able to establish our type of physical ground and pound game then Atlanta will not be so tough. They’re are a throwing team and throwing teams thrive off of rhythm and getting into that rhythm when the opposing team goes on 8 min long drives is very difficult. Add in a few big hits on their skill players that make them hear footsteps and you have the recipe for disrupting that essential rhythm. When the rhythm goes broke, the passing game will choke. But we have to establish the run to do this.

  9. SandpointHawk says:

    I for one might be over thinking this game because Atlanta is an enigma and has played a very soft schedule. Are they really 13-3 good or is it the schedule?

    I’m also more comfortable that the prognosticators have jumped off our bandwagon, I am much more comfortable when the Seahawks are wearing their “Chip on the Shoulder” uniforms…

  10. Southendzone says:

    Starting to get worried about Marshawn’s foot. 2 days out of practice with a new injury doesn’t sound good.

    Any Insider info on this situation? Is he going to be good to go on Sunday?

  11. bbnate420 says:

    Luckily for Gonzalez he doesn’t play baseball. Then he would have to wait 5 years at least, and then get lucky, just to make the HOF. I have a feeling that Atl is overrated, but it will still take a good effort to come away with a win. I’d rather play them then the GB FudgePackers/Crybay Whiners at home.

  12. bbnate420 says:

    I agree, Poseidon. The Falcons have a bad run D, and if the Hawks can run all over them that is good for the O and good for the D. The less time the Atl O has the ball, the better. Revolutionary, I know.

  13. jawpeace says:

    I am a little curious if Gonzo goes to the Hall of Fame as a Chief or a Falcon? Does anyone know?

  14. bbnate420 says:

    Jaw, It’s his choice I believe. I think they recognize every team the player played for in some fashion though. I’m sure someone will post if I’m wrong.

  15. bsinnitt says:

    I hope Paul Allen recognizes what a gem he’s found in Schneider. I’m hoping that he’ll be willing to match the big money that the large market franchises are bound to offer JS in the near future. His ability to find starter level talent in the later rounds can’t be overstated in our recent success and is key to this team continuing to be a championship contender going into the future.

  16. Falconetti says:

    The Falcon D is tougher than you think, especially against a one dimensional O like the Hawks. Look for 7-8 in the box to stop Lynch and generate soem pass rush and see if the rookie can beat us.
    Meanwhile, if you can’t generate a pass rush with the Ohio State kid out, Ryan will ight you up.
    I think your D keeps it close…Falcons 24 Hawks 20

  17. I feel safe in the assumption Paul Allen will keep Schneider at any cost.It is Gus Bradley we will lose, its just a matter of when.

  18. One dimensional seahawks offense huh? Sure looks like you have done your homework Falconetti. Keep on believing the stuff they are saying down there in Atlanta

  19. bsinnitt says:

    Falconetti – the fact you’re calling our offense one dimensional shows that you don’t have much of a clue about the way the Seahawks have been playing since their Chicago game. Hopefully Atlanta’s coaches are equally naive but I doubt it. Your only valid point is concern about the pass rush but since Atlanta’s offense is the one that’s truly one dimensional, it should make it easier for the Hawks coaches to come up with an effective scheme.

  20. Falconetti,

    “The Falcon D is tougher than you think, especially against a one dimensional O like the Hawks.”

    “Look for 7-8 in the box to stop Lynch and generate some pass rush and see if the rookie can beat us.”

    I really, really hope this is Atlanta’s gameplan on Sunday!

    Seahawks 49, Falcons 17

  21. NWPoseidon says:

    As many have already pointed out 1. the Seahawks are far from one dimensional, dont let 55% run plays and Lynch confuse you. 2. Who is the guy from Ohio State? Chris Clemons went to Georgia and Bruce Irvin is from West Virginia… Did you do any proper research or just make generic assumptions? Also Bruce Irvin lead all rookies in sacks, the kid can rush.

  22. sluggo42 says:

    Lol, a falctroll…

    Boy he sure nailed what’s going to happen this game. If only we had something other than lynch… If only…

  23. Success breads trolls.

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