Playoff matchup: Falcons pass defense vs. Seahawks pass offense

November 29, 2012 - Atlanta, Ga: New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lane Moore (16) makes a catch in between Atlanta Falcons defenders Sean Weatherspoon, left, and William Moore in the first half of their game at the Georgia Dome Thursday night in Atlanta, Ga., November 29, 2012. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

November 29, 2012 - Atlanta, Ga: New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lane Moore (16) makes a catch in between Atlanta Falcons defenders Sean Weatherspoon, left, and William Moore in the first half of their game at the Georgia Dome Thursday night in Atlanta, Ga., November 29, 2012. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH — Here is a look at how the Falcons’ pass defense matches up against the Seahawks pass offense.

Falcons starters: Left cornerback Asante Samuel, right cornerback Dunta Robinson, nickel back Robert McClain, free safety Thomas DeCoud and strong safety William Moore.

Falcons key reserves: Cornerbacks — Dominique Franks and Christopher Owens. Safeties — Chris Hope and Charles Mitchell

Seahawks: Quarterback Russell Wilson. Wide receivers Golden Tate and Sidney Rice. Tight end Zach Miller.

Seahawks key reserves: Wide receivers —Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Deon Butler (Inactive in wildcard round). Tight end – Anthony McCoy and Sean McGrath.

Matchup to watch: DeCoud vs. Wilson

The Falcons gave up 242.4 yards passing per game, which ranked 23rd in the league.

The Seahawks passed for 189.4 ayrds per game, which ranked 27th in the league.

Wilson, a rookie, has developed as the season progressed.

“From the Chicago game on, we’ve really taken a big jump,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “Russell scored at the end of regulation and then scored on the first drive of overtime to beat a Bears team that was in first place and trying to keep their spot at their place…We are much different than we were early.”

Wilson completed 252 of 393 passes (64.1 percent) for 3,118 yards and 26 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. He finished with a passer rating of 100, but was sacked 33 times.

Rice and Tate each had seven touchdown catches.

The Falcons have given up yardage, but have masked that by taking the ball away. They had 10 interceptions in games against Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Eli Manning.

The Falcons will attempt to disguise their coverages and force Wilson into some errant throws. DeCoud is usually the player who gets to attack the ball as he led the team with six interceptions. Samuel had five.

The secondary should receive a boost from the return of safety William Moore, who missed the last four games of the season with a hamstring injury.

Advantage: Falcons




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94 comments Add your comment

E-Roll

January 10th, 2013
12:01 pm

Willie Mo – Always ready!

E-Roll

January 10th, 2013
12:03 pm

Always ready to take the “Beast’s” head off in the Georgia Dome.

Titletown Falcon Fan

January 10th, 2013
12:23 pm

William Moore makes the difference in the run defense…of course with Spoon as well.

GT

January 10th, 2013
12:36 pm

Sorry Atlanta,

This matchup = Advantage: SEATTLE.

(See Seahawks vs 49′ers December 23, Russell Wilson’s last 8 games, 16 TD’s 2 Int’s)

GoHawks!

Realist

January 10th, 2013
12:37 pm

I warn that it’s misleading to look into the Seahawks’ passing ranking as an indicator of how good the passing game is, considering the Hawks run the ball more than anyone in the league.

JD

January 10th, 2013
12:38 pm

I’m not worried about our DB’s against the Seahawks’ WR’s. I’m more worried about our WR’s beating their DB’s. If we can’t beat the Seahawks consistently with our passing game (even if Matt Ryan is simply off the mark for even a quarter or half), this could get ugly. The Seahawks would then be able to wear our our defense with the run and Ryan might be forced into errant passes in order to play catch up. On the flip side, if we jump out to an early start with our passing game, we can mix in our running game and force the Seahawks to play catch up with their passing game . . . something they are ill-equipped to do. I would figure that would translate into turnovers in favor of the Falcons. What’s scary is this all hinges on Matt Ryan and the WR’s, because we do not have a consistent running game to weather a mediocre performance passing. If we can’t throw the ball effectively for a half, we are finished. Though I don’t think the Seahawks have a great passing game, they are probably a more balanced team when taking into account all phases, which allows them to weather short storms easier.

Atlanta Falcons player

January 10th, 2013
12:39 pm

[...] game at the Georgia Dome Thursday night in Atlanta, Ga., November 29, 2012. JASON GETZ / Source: Atlanta Falcons – D. Orlando Ledbetter AJC Blog Share this: Cancel [...]

Another AJC blogger proof read fail.....

January 10th, 2013
12:45 pm

Enter your comments here

Another AJC blogger proof read fail.....

January 10th, 2013
12:46 pm

Why the +(&$ are my comments not posting?

Another AJC blogger proof read fail.....

January 10th, 2013
12:47 pm

I get it……

November 29, 2012 – Atlanta, Ga: New Orleans $aints wide receiver Lane Moore (16) makes a catch

Who is Lane Moore?

Joshua Brown

January 10th, 2013
12:51 pm

We need The Georgia Dome to be loud, packed, and full by 12:35 Sunday to cheer on your Atlanta Falcons #arriveby35 #RiseUp

WhiteShoes

January 10th, 2013
12:54 pm

To JD, spot on…it will (as it always does with pass teams) come down to our O-line protecting Matt. The loss of Clemons on Seattles end is significant because now they must fins another able body that can also drop back and cover the underneath route (TonyG & Harry) What I think needs to happen is for us to pepper these under routes and sneak a big strike in off either play action or audible off seeing a one on one match on Roddy or Julio…I also think we will see a defense scheme very similar to what we saw at DEN & NYG. The boys will be frenetic changing coverage at the line and dropping back off false blitzes. Rise up.

Kurtis

January 10th, 2013
12:55 pm

It’s also misleading to look at how many passing yards the Falcons have given up. Nearly all of their opponents have been behind late in the game, forcing them to pass to try to catch up. Atlanta gives up the yardage underneath, keeps them in bounds, keeps the clock going, but keeps them out of the endzone. It’s called garbage yards.

Football 101.

I can’t wait for the Falcons to choke those SeaPukes.

Cheebud

January 10th, 2013
1:07 pm

Football 101 – win a playoff game!!! Ooops – guess Matt Ryan missed that class!!!

Seahawks 41
DirtyDiaperBirds 17

Starship 1

January 10th, 2013
1:16 pm

There’s will always be an X factor in this game. The question is: what player in what phase will dominate? I like the Falcons chances in the offensive game because of Matt Ryan and what I think the o-line can do. Both teams being equally talented-it all come down to this: what ever team that can get the other team off it’s rythum and keep the momentum in their favor-is more than likely able to control the game. The o-line is where it’s going to make a difference. Forget about the WR matchups-if Matt is upright and has time to stand in the pocket-then someone is going to get open in man to man coverage. The Seahawks will try to apply pressure in their defensive coverage and if they don’t blitz and want to go man to man in the secondary-then we’ll just check down with Snelling and run effective screens all day long. All the Falcons can do is simulate when Seattle is going to do and counter what ever the defense gives them. If they look at it as just “one” game and play to win and not play against themselves by playing conservative “not to lose”, then they WILL beat up on Seattle. I think that most Falcons fans want to see a great competitive game-win or lose this Sunday. If Seattle is so hot that they beat the Falcons best effort-whereby the Falcons make no turnovers, run the ball extremly well, and it’s defense get good coverage on the quarterback and it’s passing game and running game and all three phases play well and still lose-then I won’t feel as bad and at least the fans know-that they gave it all they got. The Falcon got beat up last year in the playoffs because they could produce only two points and that was on defense-a safety. Honestly, at that point in the game last year-I felt that would lead to momentum for the Falcons-but little did I know that-the offensive coordinator-Malarky-was a bust of an OC, and that as talented as the Falcons were-they were hobbled by their OL and the bs play calling by M. Malarky; other that that-even that Giants game could have been competative enough to be close to winnable. So in spite of history’s suggestions about the Falcons failures-they know they can and will re-write their history by playing smashed mouth football and not “finesse” football. You won’t will a game with the Seahawks with that attitude-come what may. Falcons 42, Seahawks 19

Soggyblogger

January 10th, 2013
1:17 pm

It’s odd that at the conclusion of this article that they say: Advantage Falcons since they did not use any statistics like DVOA to support their argument. What a homer joke. First, Atlanta has to stop Seattle’s ground game. If you don’t do that then their pass game will absolutely kill you. And how are you going to stop Seattle’s ground game? You won’t. Maybe with an entire off season you will be able to figure out Seattle’s run game, but no one including SF, Washington, Chicago, Buffalo, Arizona, nor St. Louis have had any luck or enough talent to come close to stopping Seattle’s run game.

The only real question is whether your team can pass successfully against our pass defense. That’s possible since your team is built to do just that. I suspect Ryan will attempt to throw against Sherman and that will be your undoing.

Elderly

January 10th, 2013
1:24 pm

I know Clemons is out, and That’s Good! But Bruce Irvin is a tornado (15th pick in the draft) and I hope our tackles are not just thinking of him as “the rookie.” He ran a 4.4 40 and is quick and strong. What I’m most concerned about is Ryan getting enough time.

Kurtis

January 10th, 2013
1:38 pm

You can tell by all of the nonsense and drivel coming from the SeaPukes bandwagon fans that they just don’t know how to act with a little success. I guess playing in the NFC Worst division has helped stoke their delusional optimism.

Sorry Cinderella, this shoe is WAY too big for you, so you’ll get your pumpkin back this Sunday.

GT

January 10th, 2013
1:43 pm

“You can tell by all of the nonsense and drivel coming from the SeaPukes bandwagon fans that they just don’t know how to act with a little success.”

Yeah, calling our team ‘SeaPukes’ is high class….

bainbridgejim

January 10th, 2013
1:49 pm

@Cheebud like your numbers you just have the Wrong team associated with each. The Falcons show up for good teams but let bad teams back into it, I understand your guys do the same. The good thing about this week for your Osprey or Fish Hawks (what Sea Hawks really are) it will be “something to build on” for Seattle. The Falcon’s know all about that…

JD

January 10th, 2013
1:57 pm

Thanks Whiteshoes. To your point, I agree the loss of Clemons is huge. And I agree that Tony G and Harry D need to have productive games. However, I’d prefer taking some shots downfield in the first quarter with hopefully Julio Jones burning the secondary deep with his speed. Against the Seahawks, it will be easier to open up the intermediate passing game with the fear of the deep ball than try to consistently establish the short to intermediate passing game in the beginning of the game to eventually lead to the deep ball. I’d also stack the line on defense on first and second down and bring in inventive blitz packages. I don’t believe Russel Wilson can consistently beating us throwing the ball- he will make some mistakes to capitalize on.

Separately, have you all noticed these the matchup analysis to be underwhelming at best? These articles are something to the effect of: “1. An important matchup is our secondary against their wide receivers. 2. These are the people in the secondary and the wide receivers. 3. Here are some stats without much analysis. 4. Advantage (insert team).” Where is the analysis here?? The people on this message board have better insights than that.

Seahawks > Falcons

January 10th, 2013
2:01 pm

Sorry ATL, the playoff curse continues, Matty (Melted) Ice will throw 3 picks. Go Hawks! http://www.seahawks.com

MG3

January 10th, 2013
2:07 pm

Sunday can’t get here fast enough, ready to see the Falcons roll. These Seahawk fans are beginning to bye all the media hype about their team. Every supposed “big game” oppenent who came into the dome this year to bring the Falcons back to reality drug their butts home as a loser. Seattle is just the next in line!

Interesting

January 10th, 2013
2:11 pm

The seahawks pass D is such a farce. Couple points:

-No one in their division finished in the top 2/3rds of the league in passing, which majorly pads their stats. Their large CBs are built to play against these teams, particularly 49ers. Falcons are nothing like 49ers. Their corners are big, physical and slow. Julio and Roddy are big, physical and really fast. Harry D on Trufant is a total mismatch, not to mention hall of famer Tony G.

-Average pass rush (with Clemens) and average in picks. Pass rush is ATL’s achilles.

-ATL recievers torched them last year (Browner got smoked by Julio all day)

Eric

January 10th, 2013
2:15 pm

Samuel will take away Tate and the starting safeties Decoud and Moore will shut down the middle. Seattle’s best chance is to run the ball but Weatherspoon is healthy and he and Nicholas are very fast to the ball (as well as Moore). Seattle hardly has an elite offense and Wilson being a rookie will get confused by Nolan’s schemes. Atlanta’s defense gets zero credit but they are a vastly improved unit over last year mostly due to Nolan and Samuel.

Vu Ḉa Avant

January 10th, 2013
2:20 pm

The falcan’ts will be pressing from the get go. One early misstep and they’ll unravel.

CHPrince

January 10th, 2013
2:22 pm

With all due respect to all the openions expressed, I’d llike to say the obvious; Seatle Seahawks 42 ans Atlanta Falcons 17…Final…

Interesting

January 10th, 2013
2:26 pm

Seattle 42 combined pass interference and personal foul calls and Atlanta 17 personal fouls for shots on your rookie QB? I have a feeling this game will get nasty

Interesting

January 10th, 2013
2:27 pm

just realized I should have used “your” since you spelled Seattle wrong.

Interesting

January 10th, 2013
2:28 pm

shouldnt* crap

WhiteShoes

January 10th, 2013
2:38 pm

I think “INTERESTING” makes a huge point here. NFC West has ZERO passing ability (SF 23rd, ZONA 28th & ST Louis 18th) Of course their corners are gonna look like studs. Also, there are two things you need to do well in tight playoff matchups, get to the QB and have a dependable field goal kicker. Clemons is OUT and Longwell is in & he hasn’t kicked a 50 yard field goal since 2010. These are 2 HUGE issues that are, I think, being grossly overlooked.

Teds Frozen Head

January 10th, 2013
2:40 pm

I would only be looking at Wilsons stats from mid-season on. That is when he was given the full playbook to run and the Seahawks were putting away teams so quickly and working the clock that the 180 yards passing per game isn’t a surprise. He is smart, accurate and if left uncontained will either run for 20 yards or wait out the coverage till he finds his open man. He doesn’t get confused by schemes.
Should be a great game!

MG3

January 10th, 2013
2:43 pm

It’s a wonder Wilson was a third round draft pick, the media and most on this blog talk like he’s unstoppable. I guess we’ll see on Sunday. Peyton, Eli, and Brees all had terrible games in the Dome this year so Seattle better hope their rookie doesn’t get embarrassed.

Teds Frozen Head

January 10th, 2013
2:43 pm

“No one in their division finished in the top 2/3rds of the league in passing”

With 2 of the top defensive teams in the league handing asses to divisional rivals 12 times a year would you really expect anything different.

Falcons will TELL ya, Seahawks will SHOW ya!

Vu Ḉa Avant

January 10th, 2013
2:53 pm

NEVER THE LESS CHPRINCE! As delusional seaboyd fans we seem to forget how we got in these playoffs with a gift from the replacement refs….. Technically we beat a team with a one legged QB last Sunday….. It’s seems that instead of being hot we have really been more lucky ….that Lucky streak ENDs this Sunday ….And YES i’m scared

Interesting

January 10th, 2013
3:02 pm

handing asses? The Rams got 4 of their 7 wins and tie against divisional teams? its not like they were getting shut down in the conference.

nfcchampsliveinga

January 10th, 2013
3:06 pm

Atlanta rarely loses back to back games. In the past 3 years that the Falcons have went into the playoffs, they have won the last game of the regular season, but lost in the postseason. In 2008, the Falcons beat the Rams 31-27 and lost to the Cardinal , in 2010 the Falcons defeated the Panthers 31-10 and lost to the Packers and in 2011 they defeated TB 45-24 and lost the Giants. This year will be the first time in the Mike Smith/Matt Ryan era that the team will be going into a post season with a last game loss in the regular season. I feel that Atlanta will win this game.

Titletown Falcon Fan

January 10th, 2013
3:22 pm

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics….throw the numbers out and the team that shows up wins, which will be the Falcons by the way!!!

The 12th Falcon

January 10th, 2013
3:36 pm

ATLANTA ~ 34
SEATTLE ~ 0

OHPLEASE

January 10th, 2013
3:43 pm

Birds get their butts kicked this weekend!

eric s.

January 10th, 2013
3:45 pm

Enter your comments here

OHPLEASE

January 10th, 2013
3:46 pm

Guys what i ment to say is i’m a PUTZ

eric s.

January 10th, 2013
3:48 pm

hawks beat brady,rogers,romo,cutler,newton

corners shut them all down, yet u dopes say they are all slow and too big??

Atlanta-strength of schedule-27 Hawks SOS–5

who is in atlantas division anyway..??

FrontRow

January 10th, 2013
3:53 pm

Not sure what everyone has been watching (or smoking). The “great” Seattle secondary had no clue against Julio Jones as a rookie and still won’t have a clue. The “great” Seattle home field advantage was nothing; remember ATL played them (and Pete Carroll go flat-out out coached) in THEIR house the last 2 years running. Some news for the Seattle fans – this ain’t the team you lost to (at home) the last 2 yrs running. You want some evidence of what will happen – look at the NYG at ATL game; the “great” Giants were about to “begin their surge” but the ATL had revenge on their minds.
This team still has a statement to make. Keep bad-mouthing them.

12thMan

January 10th, 2013
4:01 pm

You mad bro??? Atlanta will need to figure out how to stop the run if they want to stay in this game. Good luck with that.

12thMan

January 10th, 2013
4:03 pm

Hey FrontRow -your Falcons are basically the same team as last year, but the Seahawks are a totally different team. Much more explosive offense and a stronger D (2nd in league in yds, first in scoring). Ask New England, Chicago and SF how overrated the Seahawks are this year.

Interesting

January 10th, 2013
4:09 pm

please, are you talking about the packers game where they didnt have their starting line yet and Seattle still needed the replacement officials to win the game for you? I think Seattle had 8 sacks that game (8 out of their total of 36 in one game!) and its the reason the pack started out 0-4. Rogers didnt have time to do anything, so that one doesnt count.

Also, Brady put up 400 yards on your corners. If you’re expecting a little Randall Cobb or Wes Welker that your corners can toss around, you are mistaken.

Black Mountain Falcon

January 10th, 2013
4:12 pm

I like the Falcons chances. I remember when all of the National Pundits were picking the Giants.
This Falcons can’t win talk, will just fire the Birds up even more!!!!!!!

old man

January 10th, 2013
4:12 pm

Julio and Roddy SHOULD draw some flags on deep routes. Their CBs can’t keep up with our WRs, and will have to grab and arm bar to prevent big plays.

My concern is that TV wants the Seahawks and Russell Wilson to advance, and the refs know that.