Seahawks Insider

Morning links: 5 keys for Seahawks vs. Falcons

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 13, 2013 at 6:20 am with 36 Comments »
January 13, 2013 9:33 am
Seattle Seahawks defenders Earl Thomas and Marcus Trufant chase Atlanta Falcons Roddy White in the first half of a NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seattle Seahawks defenders Earl Thomas and Marcus Trufant chase Atlanta Falcons Roddy White in the first half of a NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Good morning. We’ve got overcast skies and 68 degrees predicted for game time this afternoon here in Atlanta. But we’ll be inside in the Georgia Dome, so weather will not be a factor today.

That said, here are my five keys for the Seattle Seahawks as they try to advance to the NFC Championship game with a win on the road against Atlanta, and an opportunity to face San Francisco for a third time this season.

Score TDs in the red zone: Watching Saturday’s playoffs one thing came to my mind, teams cannot settle for field goals when they have a chance to get touchdowns. So it will be important for Seattle’s offense to put the ball in the end zone, particularly with the ability for that Atlanta offense to put points on the board.

Win the turnover battle: The teams that lost the turnover battle lost the game on Saturday (Denver 3, Baltimore 1) and (Green Bay 2, San Francisco 1), so protecting the ball and forcing a couple turnovers will be critical if the Seahawks want to get the win today.

Be physical: The Seahawks need to bring their big boy pads today. Seattle’s game each week is to be the most physical team on the field, setting the tone for the opponent that it’s going to be a long day. That will be particularly important today in the secondary and at the second level of the defense. Seattle can’t let Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez get comfortable. Make them work for everything in the passing game.

Rise and shine: Seattle can’t get behind 14-0 today and expect to come out victorious. And the Seahawks cannot use the early start as an excuse. The Seahawks have to be ready to go at the opening whistle in order to match the intensity that Atlanta is going to play with to start the game.

Control tempo: In order to limit Atlanta’s possessions, the Seahawks need to control the tempo of the game by running the ball with Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson, and get of the field on third down defensively. It also will be important for Bruce Irvin to show up and create pressure on Matt Ryan. Make Ryan uncomfortable so the rest of his teammates can make plays in the back end of the defense.

Here’s my game advance for Sunday. The master of motivation, Pete Carroll has his Seahawks once again a game away from playing for the NFC title.

Dave Boling of The News Tribune profiles Seattle safety Earl Thomas, who has a young daughter Kaleigh Rose as motivation.

More Boling: Seattle’s strengths match Atlanta’s weaknesses.

John McGrath of The News Tribune questions whether Atlanta’s 12th Man will rise to the task of helping to lead the Falcons to a playoff win today.

Clare Farnsworth of write about Russell Wilson meeting the quarterback he’s been most compared to this year, Fran Tarkenton.

Danny O’Neil of The Seattle Times provides his keys to the game.

Jerry Brewer of The Seattle Times profiles Richard Sherman.

Here’s the latest Real Robinson Report

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 36
  1. Seahawks 31
    Falcan’ts 30

    Seahawks 24
    Whiners 20

    Seahawks 35
    Patriots 34

  2. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    37/31 hawks

  3. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    oh BI 4 sacks

  4. edstang45 says:

    pressure pressure pressure can we get pressure……Only key i’m worried about.. Go Hawks!!!!

  5. Dukeshire says:

    Atlanta’s defense gives up ton of yards per game but they don’t allow many points. Eric is right on the money when he says they have to punch it in. Long drives that result in points: got to have it today.

  6. At 8 AM here in Park City (Utah) it is 12 below zero…and snowing. The lifts start in 45 minutes but it’s too damn cold to contemplate a couple of hours skiing before kickoff. Gonna stay warm before the game today.

  7. Getting pressure on Ryan, hurrying him, is the only thing I’d add to Eric’s list. He can’t have all day.

  8. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    vegas, never too cold for a couple of runs.

  9. This might just be as nervous as I’ve ever been for a Seahawks game. Atlanta scares the hell out of me.

    Althought their strength of schedule is pretty low they’ve still won 13 games and that is not an easy thing to do in the NFL. They have perhaps the best 3 man set of receivers we’ve faced all year. Their OL protects Ryan very, very well. And they are extremely good over the middle of the field.

    A couple keys beyond those that Eric posted:

    1) We have to stop their running game. Sounds odd since the Falcons are much more of a passing offense, but we need to stop their run and force them into 2nd and long, and 3rd and long.

    3) Pressure, pressure, pressure. Whether we use the blits or straight up 4 man rush, we have to make Ryan throw the ball before he wants to, and set ourselves up for a few picks.

    4) We must limit their 3rd down conversions and get of the field.

    5) Keep the field long for them. We need to have field position go our way all day long. Foce them to make 80+ yard drives.

    6) Last, TOP. We need to have the ball in our hands for 5 or more minutes longer than they do. Best defense today will be a good offense with sustained drives.

  10. Dukeshire says:

    Moffitt cracks me up. “Why would you need that stuff?” lol

  11. Carlsonkid says:

    MUST run the ball to keep it out of their hands today ! Shawn needs another big day , and could well have it ; their run defense isn’t as good as the Redskins and we saw what happened there : )

    Control time of possesion and no turnovers , and we’ll be fine . Today has finally arrived !

    GO HAWKS !!

  12. Dave Boling says:

    Hey, crew. I sure saw a lot of 12s outside the stadium. The Atlanta TV news last night reported that there were 2,000 tickets still available for the game. And that’s not counting the secondary market. Hard for Seahawks fans to believe a playoff game not sold out.

    Some of the guys are on the field stretching early. Sure nice to see a field without a bunch of divots in it!

    This is the point where the coaches jog around the field. Well, Cable walks.

  13. Seahawks22360 says:

    ^^^^^ love to hear that! GO HAWKS!

  14. Thanks for the pregame update Dave.

  15. Dave Boling says:

    You all happy the Niners won? I am. I’ve made that January trip to Green Bay too many times. It’s a miserable trip with an awful ending! Atlanta could make it a moot point, but I think a Niners-Hawks NFC title game would really add to what is already a sweet rivalry

  16. What else is there to do in Atl? Wow just floors me when fans don’t show for the big game! Its not like the Denver game where you might freeze to death. Go Hawks!!!

  17. I hate the Whiners more than the Pack, but I’m more confident playing the pansies from SF.

  18. I think the Seahawks would be happy that the trip would be to S.F. too. Green Bay’s defense looked awful, but even so temps that low change the game. So I’m glad the Niners won…but I’ll hate them again next week no matter what.

  19. confucious says:

    Vegas. Take one for the team. Make 1 run in the name of Seahawks toughness and victory. You are in Park City for christ sakes! I only skied Utah once in my life. Alta. Most amazing snow ever. Big POW! 20″ new champagne each day we were there. Epic. Have fun. Go Hawks!

  20. Dukeshire says:

    Not sold out? What the hell have they ever done for their fans to be so complacent?

  21. I wish we could all poll our resources and buy up those remaining tickets. Would be nice to have the Falcons stare up to a bunch of empty seats. Maybe they’ll all go unsold anyway. I’d love to see the Fox announcers talk that story line up, but being the NFL you know they won’t do anything more than mention it. And maybe not even that.

  22. *Ummm… “pool” not “poll”.

  23. I re-watched the Seattle-Atlanta game from last season. We matched up really well against them. One of the most successful games of 2011, even though the Seahawks lost.

    Lynch only ran the ball 8 times. Seahawks won’t make that mistake today.

    Tarvaris Jackson was 25/38, 3TD, 2 INT. He tore them up. But we’re talking about Tarvaris Jackson. Wilson will be more accurate, not waste downs, not throw INTs, and he will give their LBs and safeties hell with his play action and read option plays.

    I think the Seahawks need to establish their power run game early and own the ball. They need to shut down Atlanta’s running game cold, then work on taking away the long ball. That will leave Atlanta fighting handfights in the middle of the field with Douglas and Gonzales. Trufant, Kam, ET, KJ, and Wagner all can fight those battles and wear Atlanta down.

    Meanwhile… its BeeesMo time!!!

    Enjoy the game everybody!!!

  24. Confucius and Oklahoma, I’m going to take a few victory laps around the mountain tomorrow in my Seahawks under layer (yeah, they make such things) but I was just too lazy this morning after a full day yesterday…12 below is really good incentive to get early pre-game going.

  25. MoSeahawk12 says:

    SF showed that even though they only got one sack against Rogers, they made him uncomfortable all night with pressure, real and imagined. He was off for most of the game. Then the 9ers Oline just destroyed the Packers. Clay Matthews was pretty much a non factor. What does this have to do with our game today?

    I don’t expect us to get many sacks today. However, if we follow this design and find ways to get enough pressure on Matt Ryan, I think we can frustrate him and his stud receivers. Then our Oline can take over with Beast Mode and Wilson running for big chunks and time off clock. We have a physical line that can do what the 9ers did to the Packers. I think we can push these guys and pull out another road win. Super pumped for today! Go SEAHAWKS!!

  26. Dukeshire says:

    Vegas – On of my best friends lives in Breckenridge. -15 below this morning. Lol.

  27. Real Rob rocks,Is there any way that game is not sold out in Seattle NO! 12th man rocks GO HAWKS

  28. princeaden says:

    My keys are 1. No turnovers 2. Will the Refs let our corners be physical ? 3. Receivers and backs must have no drive killing drops. 4. Lineman (Breno) have no bonehead, drive killing Personal fouls or holding calls.

  29. montanamike2 says:

    I know Aintlanta fans are lame!
    I have to go warm up the car for a while, then i’m off.
    I hope we smother them, i know it probably won’t happen because i have a healthy respect for their offense, not so much their defense.

  30. Palerydr says:

    I know we can beat the Falcons in fact I feel we can beat any team left in the playoffs. The thing that makes me nervous is any team left in the playoffs can beat us as well. The team that makes the fewest mistakes today will be the team that wins.

    As others have mentioned consistent pressure is another big key for this game. Once Ryan starts looking for the rush we got em.

  31. rramstad says:

    Moffit is hysterical.

    Reminds me of some sort of unholy merger of John Belushi and Robbie Tobeck.

    (Some of Robbie’s stories had me literally ROTFL, ask Hass.)

    I LOVE how loose the guys are and yet you see the intensity… they ARE hungry, and they KNOW they can do it, but they have to do the work to earn the prize… it’s a GREAT attitude.

    Best Real Rob Report ever!

    PS If DangerRuss is a cyborg, let’s set up a couple more tanks and grow ourselves a #1 receiver and a replacement foot for Red Bryant.

  32. rramstad says:

    (No offense to Golden Tate or Sidney Rice, but we need that super speed burner to really open up the passing game… Hell, we could do some cross breed of those two guys, maybe with a titch of Steve Largent, and get a taller vat, so he could be Larry Fitzgerald size. Imagine a younger more gritty version of Sidney Rice with the route running savvy of Largent.)

  33. Dukeshire says:

    I think every team in the league could use a receiver like that. Lol. But I get what you mean…

  34. As long as we’re dreaming, let’s have him be made of liquid metal, ala Terminator 2. :)

    Man, I am 6 kinds of nervous and excited!!

  35. Duke, lemme tell you, anything below -10 is just ridiculous…no exposed skin anywhere. I’m hoping for a heat wave above 0 tomorrow.

  36. raymaines says:

    Atlanta has averaged 25.6 PPG against mostly below average defenses and I don’t see how they score any more than that against Seattle’s above average defense.

    Seattle’s above average rushing offense should do well against the below average Atlanta rush defense. I’m thinking Lynch and Turbin should get 200 yards and score four TD’s between them.

    Seattle gets every bit of 28 points and Atlanta maxes out at 28, so I’m predicting Seattle wins a fairly close game, say, 31-24.

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