Playoff matchup: Falcons’ special teams vs. Seahawks’ special teams

FLOWERY BRANCH — Here’s a breakdown on how the Falcons’ special teams units match up against the Seahawks:

Falcons: Kicker Matt Bryant, punter/kickoff Matt Bosher, holder Bosher, kickoff returner Jacquizz Rodgers, punt returner Harry Douglas and long snapper Josh Harris.

Seattle: Kicker Steven Hauschka, punter Jon Ryan, holder Ryan, punt and kickoff returner Leon Washington and long snapper Clint Gresham.

Matchup to watch: Bosher vs. Washington

Washington is one of the most dangerous return men in the NFL.

On 27 kickoff returns, he averaged 29 yards per attempt during the regular season. He also returned one 98 yards for a touchdown against Miami on Nov. 25.

His 29-yard average was second in the NFL behind Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones (30.7) among players with 25 returns or more.

As a punt returner, Washington had 41 returns for 356 yards, the longest at 52 yards. He had 17 fair catches.

With the 98-yarder against Miami, Washington tied Cleveland’s Josh Cribbs as the only players in NFL history with eight career kickoff returns for touchdowns.

Bosher can take Washington out of the game by sailing his kickoffs for touchbacks and with extended hang-time on his punts.

When the Falcons played Seattle on Oct. 2, 2011, Washington got loose for one punt return of 33 yards and a kickoff return of 36 yards. Overall that day, he had two punt returns for 40 yards and four kickoff returns for 94 yards.

The Falcons coverage units are led by safety Chris Hope and linebacker Robert James. Also, cornerback Christopher Owens, who is attempting to come back from a hamstring injury, is perhaps the fastest player on the coverage units and could be missed if he can’t recover in time.

Advantage: Seattle


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10 comments Add your comment


January 7th, 2013
6:39 pm

Btr Getr done.


January 7th, 2013
6:42 pm

St’s?? All Franks does is fair catch. lol. Nothing about Abe, Robinson, or Moore?

Sausage King of Chicago

January 7th, 2013
6:43 pm

Bierman is fierce on special teams


January 7th, 2013
7:16 pm

The Faclons linebackers and secondary need to rap up the runners for the seahawks. The last few games show they have a serious problem bringing runners down on the first hit with the high school shoulder tackling method Smith continues to allow. If you can’t tackle you should sit. Just saying…..

Weiner E

January 7th, 2013
8:03 pm

An important point is that Hauschka, Seattle’s kicker, was injured yesterday in Washington, and the Seahawks are looking to sign a new kicker as we speak. Not sure how that fact was overlooked in this article. So with an undetermined guy getting off the couch to come kick in a playoff game, I’d say Atlanta may have the advantage here.

William Andrews Fan

January 8th, 2013
7:43 am

Never thought I’d be hoping for the speedy recovery of Chris Owens…but I have to admit he is a factor on special teams!

I usually just read but...

January 8th, 2013
8:12 am

Weiner E makes a very good point.

dylan moore

January 8th, 2013
11:00 am

i think the seahalks will pone atlanta and atlanta will fall there is no way they will go undefeaded the whole way we will beat them and they will eat my words and the seahalks dust

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[...] Playoff matchup: Falcons’ special teams vs. Seahawks’ special teams [...]