Atlanta Falcons: View from Seattle: Seahawks busting myths?

Did Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks bust some myths at Washington? (Mark Slocum/AP)

Did Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks bust some myths at Washington? (Mark Slocum/AP)

The Seahawks won 24-14 at Washington on Sunday and, according to Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times, busted three “tired, outdated or just flat-out wrong” myths in the process.

Here’s O’Neil’s take with the AJC’s comments:

I. Seattle is wasting a championship-caliber defense.

This was the chorus in September after the Seahawks scored fewer than 20 points in four of their first five games. . . . Well, Seattle’s offense has come a long way since then, its relentless ground game combining with an increasingly aggressive game plan for its effective young quarterback to create an efficient, above-average NFL offense.

Comment: Can’t fade that analysis. Those 42 points the Seahawks hung on the 49ers speak volumes even when accounting for a blocked field goal for a touchdown. Sure, the Cardinals had eight turnovers in a 58-0 defeat but it’s rare for any NFL team to give up that many points (and the Falcons didn’t exactly light it up against Arizona). Seattle also put up 50 points on Buffalo–yeah, the Bills are bad but, again, NFL teams only get shredded like that every once in a while.

It’s worth noting, however, that two Seattle’s scoring outbursts came at home (more on that below). Seattle’s offense huffed and puffed to a 20-13 victory against the lowly Rams in the regular-season finale. And the Seahawks managed just 24 points against Washington’s lackluster defense in spite of holding the ball for more than 34 minutes and getting two turnovers.

II. Seattle is not built to come back from big deficits.

This is a logical assumption given the Seahawks’ propensity for running the ball. . . . But Sunday was the third time this season Seattle found itself down by double digits, and the second consecutive time it came back to win. The Seahawks trailed the Patriots by 13 points in the fourth quarter and scored two touchdowns in the final nine minutes to win in October. At Washington, the Seahawks were more methodical, running their way back into the game.

Comment: O’Neil notes that the Seahawks scored first in 13 of its 16 regular-season games so there’s not much to go on. But coming back from down 14-0 in a playoff road game is legit. Of course, the Falcons have been making comebacks all season.

III. The Seahawks can’t win on the road.

There was a time you could make this argument. That, however, was in November when Seattle had lost five of six games on the road, and each of Wilson’s interceptions had occurred away from Seattle.

And while it’s true Seattle hadn’t won a road playoff game since 1983, it’s also true that 44 of the 53 players on Seattle’s roster weren’t alive when that streak started. So while it’s easy to make road games seem like this franchise’s bogeyman, it’s not exactly accurate after Seattle won at Chicago on Dec. 2 and beat Buffalo in Toronto two weeks later.

Comment: It’s not so much when the streak started as the fact the Seahawks had lost playoff road games in 2006, ‘07 and ‘10. But probably shouldn’t put too much stock in the past after that victory at Washington. (Also, if history is the focus, then note that the Seahawks won at least one playoff game each of the last five times they qualified for the postseason while the Falcons . . . well, you know.)

Still, Seattle’s victories at Chicago and Toronto can’t quite erase the memories of ugly flops at Arizona, St. Louis, Detroit and Miami. It’s one thing for the Seahawks to win at Washington, which barely won the mediocre NFC East; they’ll have to reach another level to win at the Georgia Dome, where the Falcons have been tough under coach Mike Smith.


Seattle pass rusher Clemons out for playoffs

Falcons determined to have playoff breakthrough

Atlanta Falcons: Q&A with head coach Mike Smith

John Abraham set to return to practice on Wednesday

Playoff buzz: Falcons are 2 1/2 point favorites

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


Dirk Koetter to stay with the Falcons

Smith to ramp up bye-week practices

Smith expects Abraham, Robinson to be ready for playoff game

Falcons’ run defense to be tested in divisional playoff game

Falcons to open playoffs at 1 p.m., Sunday Jan. 13th

135 comments Add your comment


January 8th, 2013
7:04 am



January 8th, 2013
7:35 am

Russell Wilson had 10 interceptions in the regular season, that is a whole bunch of INT’s for somebody that only attempted 393 passes.

(reprinted without permission)

“There was a cheap shot — (Seahawks defensive end) Red Bryant tried to step on (Alfred Morris) after a play and hit him in the head,” Redskins fullback Darrel Young said Monday, via USA Today. “Alfred Morris is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet. … When Alfred comes to the sideline cursing, you’ve got a problem because this is a kid who doesn’t curse.”

While the alleged stomp upset the team, it was Sherman, who is becoming infamous for his ability to get under the skin of opponents, who was the chippiest Seattle Seahawk.

According to Redskins players, Sherman and Williams started chirping at each other from the game’s first play, when the Seahawks cornerback allegedly started talking smack to the Redskins sideline.

Sherman “was taunting Mike Shanahan on the sideline, telling Mike, ‘You can’t throw over here,’ Young said. “I wanted to go over and punch him myself. … I hope we got Seattle on our schedule next year.”

Blue Fender

January 8th, 2013
7:39 am

What a bunch of punks. I hope the Falcons knock ‘em down a notch or two.


January 8th, 2013
7:41 am

The commentators and the fans are preaching up this team from Seattle. They are on a roll and are good. So I’m not expecting anything more than what this Mike Smith and Matt Ryan team have given us: great play during the regular season and mediocre play and play-calling when it counts most. It’s not a knock on these guys as much as a realism. Until we win, …

Seattle looks great now. But they commit twice as many penalties as the Falcons. Our running backs are rested. #25 is finally back. I agree, putting history aside, the team from Seattle will have to play a flawless game to beat us. It’s happened before. But history aside, …

Vinny D

January 8th, 2013
7:47 am

The matchup of Roddy/Julio vs their corners will be awesome. If Roddy burns Sherman for a score and we win, Sherman will NEVER hear the end of it.


January 8th, 2013
8:00 am

Just hope our receivers don’t let Sherman get them ejected from the game for retaliation. Just show them up on the field. That’ll get under their skin!


January 8th, 2013
8:02 am

Seattle won’t beat us I’m now certain of this in fact if this isn’t a blowout by 3rd quarter that’s probably why I’ll be disappointed.

If all Seattle could manage was 24 points they better do a lot more than that all they truly have is a RB that’s about it.


January 8th, 2013
8:21 am

They’re gonna bust Matt Melt rght in the arse


January 8th, 2013
8:23 am

Seahawks are very deep at all positions, don’t get it misunderstood. At any given time if a player goes down another quality player will step in. All the Falcons have is receivers and a passing game. Sherm and BB will shut that down real quick. You have no run game, a washed up QB who is nearing the end of his career and no defense. C’mon man.

Oh yeah, 0-3 in the playoffs.


January 8th, 2013
8:24 am

I don’t understand how everyone points to the ‘history of play calling in the playoffs’ as a reason for doubt THIS year… these are 2 brand new coordinators. You can’t put the past on them.

[...] Michael Cunningham Did Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks bust some myths at Washington? (Mark Slocum/AP) The Seahawks [...]

Whadda Ya Know?

January 8th, 2013
8:33 am

kevinofconyers – that’s because you have common sense and these other idiots are either trolls are so-called fans who are repeating what the media is putting in their heads. Any true fan would know that all those past playoff losses has absolutely NOTHING to do with this Sunday’s game. All the hype the media wants to give Seattle (until they get spanked) will do nothing to help them on the field Sunday. If our players allow a young Seachicken team to come in our house and beat them then some serious changes need to be made on the roster. They’d better Rise Up and knock those Seachicken boys down!!!


January 8th, 2013
8:54 am

Hawkish, are you trying to be funny or are you a blind homer/certified moron?

Ryan, a washed up QB nearing the end of his career? LOL.


January 8th, 2013
9:12 am


I think he meant to say Turner, our RB. But, you have to give him some slack for not knowing the difference between a QB and a RB. Go easy on the guy.


January 8th, 2013
9:22 am

@Hawkish…check your secondary’s INT’s vs our secondary’s INT’s. I’m so sick of hearing about this defense. Ok so they are good against the run. Who cares? Teams don’t win superbowls running the ball anymore.


January 8th, 2013
9:22 am

Them seahags are sum bfd bad mofos – bfraid bros

miss Dirty Bird

January 8th, 2013
9:25 am

RISE UP!!! Dirty Bird Nation is Lombardy bound!!! HOOTAY-HOOOOO!


January 8th, 2013
9:28 am

I see falcon fans talking scared from there comments. Truth is, you don’t know what to expect from this falcon team. Talk all the trash you want about seattle players, there coming to play,are your falcons????????????


January 8th, 2013
9:31 am

ASHCAN, the Falcons are 7-1 at home. They will play, don’t worry. Now take your clown comments to a seehag blg.

Back to numbers.
Seattle gave up 245 points
Atlanta fave up 299 points


January 8th, 2013
9:33 am

Seattle got 33 sacks this season
Atlanta got 28


January 8th, 2013
9:34 am

Both teams had 18 turnovers from the D.

Say what

January 8th, 2013
9:49 am

Sorry Seahawks, your precious rookie is going to have a very bad day against the ATL defense. Multiple interceptions. Turner will bust some big runs. He’s rested and ready. It’s going to be a long day for the seachickens. It’s just the luck of the draw — you’re runnning into this year’s NFC Superbowl team. Maybe next year…


January 8th, 2013
9:58 am

The good news is that while we have defiencies (lack of running game), Seattle has a lot of issues too. Cant play well on the road (with RG3 healthy that game is over at halftime), hurt key player on defense, not a great pass defense against the inside (see Tony G on Sunday), and a lot of overhype that will go to their head. I am usually very cautious when picking the Falcons to win big games…but if they beat the Giants, Nola, Denver, and Washington, they can sure beat the Chickens of the Sea too.

Die Hard Falcon

January 8th, 2013
9:58 am

@Hawkish — I cannot believe I’m even going to respond to this but Matt Ryan “washed up”?!? “nearing the end of his career”?!?

He’s only in his 5th year in the league and had his best career, his #’s get better every year, constant improvement.

I think Seattle is a very good team and I won’t guarantee victory or anything, but Atlanta is a much better team on paper and in reality, but confidence and the physicality of Seattle do pose a problem, I still won’t bet against my Dirty Birds though.

Miss Dirty Bird — thanks for bringing back the Hootay Hoo! That was a great song

Say what

January 8th, 2013
9:58 am

I haven’t even mentioned Matt, Julio, Tony, Roddy, HD, Quizz and Snelling. Yeah, you’re in for a long day.


January 8th, 2013
10:03 am

I hope both Julio and Roddy each smoke their respective PED popping corners multiple times so they can STFU.


January 8th, 2013
10:10 am

This game will be out of hand by the second period. The Falcons will up by 21.The game is over by half time. Falcons 42-Seahawks10


January 8th, 2013
10:18 am

It’s going t5o be a great game against two great teams. Good luck to the Falcons, don’t worry the Seahawks will come to play.


January 8th, 2013
10:35 am

Falconfanriseup – I’m flying down with my son from CT so I hope you are right my friend!!

Titletown Falcon Fan

January 8th, 2013
10:37 am

One big issue will be how the refs call all the tugging, pulling and mugging the Seattle PED corners tend to do….if the refs pick it up quickly at 5 yards like they are supposed to, then Roddy and Julio will beast, if not, then it could be problems for our OL…..this is where Tony G will make all the difference. I think Quizz has a big game as a result also.

10 INTs? …Seattle DBs are highly overrated….I would take Revis over Sherman anyday.

Plucked Falcon

January 8th, 2013
10:46 am

Chris Clemons is out for the year. Seahawks described the field at Washington as “playing on kitty litter” and are looking forward to playing on FieldTurf in Atlanta like they do at home. Fast track for both teams should make for an exciting, hard-hitting match-up. Can’t wait.

KC Falcon

January 8th, 2013
10:48 am

I just had a vision of Priceless and Choke and all the kin folk getting busted in the arse by all the rest of us on here. We were all lined up for an old fashioned “Oklahoma Drill” and we just kept pounding.

It was very funny. Ha ha ha ha HA!


January 8th, 2013
10:56 am

42-10? Tom Brady only put up 23 dude! The Falcon have not played anybody, Philly? Carolina? Really? Your gonna get your test come Sunday….Beastmode!

take it from me.

January 8th, 2013
10:58 am

Don’t worry Falcon fans the seabirds will be well coached, intensifided, and ready to roll. The Falcons better be ready to match it or it could be a long day.Lets just hope the long layoff doesn’t mess up the mojo of the Falcons,after all ESPN has allready declared the seabirds the winner.


January 8th, 2013
11:10 am

kevinfromconyers is right. We have 2 new coordinators. Nolan confused Peyton for 3 ints. If he puts some of that in against this rookie Wilson will definately be confused. Koetter is a much better play caller than MM was but I do hope he lets Matt run the no huddle alot. I think we have a good chance of winning this game as long as we don’t get over excited and happy feet.

C from Marietta

January 8th, 2013
11:11 am

@ Hawkish

This alone prove your not very smart “a washed up QB”
It’s only his 5th year. BTW… His best year so far. That’s funny.


January 8th, 2013
11:16 am

I think it’s going to be more of a psychological game than a physiological game.

The Falcons have to go in there KNOWING that they having the skills, talent & ability to win. But they cannot think that it’s a GIVEN. Too many times teams/players seem to forget that they have to work their a**es off for a win; they get arrogant and forget that they have to truly bust their butts for 60 full minutes. You’ll hear them saying before a game, “we know we’re good. We know we can beat them”. Yeah … PROVE it to us with your play, not with your yipping.

The Falcons need to have the attitude that they CAN do it, they just have to get out there and work harder and stronger than the other guys. Don’t get me wrong, I love this team but I think we all need to just simmer down and let them get their minds in the right place.


January 8th, 2013
11:35 am

Seattle’s rookie QB was the steal of the draft. He plays with the smarts of a veteran. He’ll be the most level headed player on the team, and that’s including the coaches. He knows the art of self preservation, as in when to slide, get down or throw it away. (something RG3 failed to pick up) Obviously, the #1 seed Falcons are not to be taken lightly. They have a hell of a good team. Hawks seem to play better when they are the underdog. I’m looking forward to this one! I’ll guess 27 – 27 at the end of regulation. Pick em in OT.

chris watson

January 8th, 2013
11:39 am

Any team the Falcons play will be a playoff team that had to win a playoff game to get to the Falcons. What I’m trying to say is that alone is enough to mean whoever we are playing is a dangerouse team. That being said I feel like Atlanta should handle this one pretty easily. Seattle is OVERRATED big time. They are okay but don’t have the skill players that Atlanta has, Atlanta is well rested, at home, etc. This happens every year in every sport. The media picks their “darlings” but in the end what is said in the media is irrelevant the outcome will be decided on the field. My prediction? Falcons roll 31-21.

Say what

January 8th, 2013
11:40 am

Don’t worry, Gracie. Falcons players don’t read this blather. It would be like me reading a site dedicated to customers yacking about the company I work for. Not gonna happen. But you’re right, football is as much about out-thinking the opponent as it is about out-muscling them. Luckily, we finally have two smart offensive and defensive coordinators.

Say what

January 8th, 2013
11:46 am

mykeeb33 @ 11:35 a.m., classiest comment of the day.

Mike Franklin

January 8th, 2013
11:47 am

let ‘em bust all the myths they want. The Falcons thrive under media myth and disrespect. And once Sunday’s game is over, there will be more media myths… like how the Falcons clobbered this white-hot team with the ducky unis.


January 8th, 2013
11:53 am

You clearly haven’t watched the “lowly” Rams play this year. Their defense is tough. They beat and tied San Francisco. Scoring even 20 points against them is no easy task.


January 8th, 2013
12:01 pm

LOL at “reprinted without permission.”


January 8th, 2013
12:02 pm

Please oh please oh please tell Lynch and Wilson they cannot win. Don’t bother trying to tell Sherman, he already carries a chip on his should and will come in the Georgia Dome looking for someone to piss off.

Seahawk Nation

January 8th, 2013
12:06 pm

I love it. Keep hating on the Hawks, we love the media coverage. You must be MAD BRO, because our DBs talk trash and back it up.

Overrated? Overrated is #1 seed and going 1 and out 2/3 years….yawwwwnnnn


January 8th, 2013
12:13 pm

Esquire, Wilson had 10 interceptions in 393 passes, a rate of 2.5%. Ryan had 14 interceptions in 615 passes, a rate of 2.3%. Not too much difference. Also, Wilson only had 2 interceptions over his last 8 regular season games and Ryan had 8.


January 8th, 2013
12:37 pm

January 8th, 2013
10:56 am

42-10? Tom Brady only put up 23 dude! The Falcon have not played anybody, Philly? Carolina? Really? Your gonna get your test come Sunday….Beastmode!


Beastmode isn’t a word dunce hat. Haven’t played anybody? We are getting our test on Sunday? What, are we having eye exams? There is no sense fighting a battle of wit with you, you’re unarmed and a moron.

13 wins and still counting.



January 8th, 2013
12:43 pm

I’d like to hear less about the Seahawks and more about the Falcons. I really don’t give a rat’s petutie about them and their vaunted this and that. It’s Falcon Time….so dig deep and lets focus on our own boys.


January 8th, 2013
12:45 pm

I’m glad Clemons is not playing, simply put, he was the best pass rusher on that Seahawks team. Remember keep Matt clean and he can picked that secondary apart. Russel Wilson is playing better as a rookie than some of the vet quarterbacks in the league. Being that said, At some point he will make mistakes, it happens even to some of the more experience quarterbacks in the league. I can’t wait to see Julio and Roddy up against trash talking Sherman and Browner. Get the popcorn ready it should be something exciting to watch……