Playoff matchup: Falcons run defense vs. Seahawks run offense

Seattle's Marshawn Lynch pushes off Falcons defender Curtis Lofton to score a touchdown in the second half last season. AP

Seattle's Marshawn Lynch pushes off Falcons defender Curtis Lofton to score a touchdown in the second half last season. AP

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

Falcons starters: Weakside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (114 tackles), middle linebacker Akeem Dent (79 tackles) and strongside linebacker Stephen Nicholas (led team with 116 tackles).

Falcons key reserves: Linebackers Mike Peterson and Robert James.

Seahawks starters: Running back Marshawn Lynch (1,590 yards, 11 touchdowns) and fullback Michael Robinson.

Seahawks key reserves: Robert Turbin and Leon Washington.

Matchup to watch: Dent vs. Lynch

The Falcons gave up 123.2 rushing yards per game during the regular season, which ranked 21st in the league.

The Seahawks, powered by Lynch and his “Beast Mode” style, rushed for 161.2 yards per game, which ranked third in the league.

The Falcons played a lot of nickel and dime packages this season. They moved around their defensive front between 3-4 and 4-3 looks with mixed results.

Dent, who’s in his first year as a starter, progressed over the season.

Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan was almost embarrassed when he admitted that the unit’s problems against the run were caused by missed tackles. The Falcons have five defenders with at least 10 missed tackles, led by safety Thomas DeCoud’s 21 and Asante Samuel’s 18, according to ProFootballFocus.com.

They had some good moments as they held Kansas City’s Jamal Charles (87), Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy (45) and Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin (50 in the first meeting) to under 100 yards rushing.

The Falcons have allowed 4.8 yards per carry, which is fourth-highest in the league. In their three losses, they yielded 5.1, 6.1 and 4.8 per carry.

The hard-charging Lynch, who didn’t practice on Wednesday or Thursday with a foot injury, helped Seattle average 4.8 yards per carry. Against Washington in the wildcard game, he rushed for 132 yards on 20 carries and forced six missed tackle.

If he is slowed, Turbin will pick up some carries and he averaged 4.4 yards per carry.

Lynch averages 2.77 yards per carry after contact and has forced 58 missed tackles.

Advantage: Seahawks




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97 comments Add your comment

[...] linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (114 tackles), middle linebacker Akeem Dent (79 tackles) Source: Atlanta Falcons – D. Orlando Ledbetter AJC Blog Share this: atlanta falcons football, atlanta falcons news, falcons football news, falcons news [...]

Statick

January 11th, 2013
10:47 am

:D efensive coordinator Mike Nolan was almost embarrassed when he admitted that the unit’s problems against the run were caused by missed tackles. The Falcons have five defenders with at least 10 missed tackles, led by safety Thomas DeCoud’s 21 and Asante Samuel’s 18″

That’s because you have to WRAP UP AND TACKLE, fellas! Decoud, now is the time to finally realize that your forearm shivers are not going to knock a RB down. Grab a leg and hold on! Same goes for you, Asante.

Matt Ryan

January 11th, 2013
11:01 am

WTF SEATTLES QB HAS BEEN IN LEAGUE INLY 5 MONTHS AND HAS MORE PLAYOFF WINS THAM ME WHATS UP WITH ALL THAT, WHAT DOES IT MEAN, SUGGESTIONS ANYONE, EXCUSE ME MY THROAT IS CLOGGED I CANT SYP CHOKING!!!!!!!!!

g

January 11th, 2013
11:08 am

The real Matt Ryan can spell.

Matt Ryan

January 11th, 2013
11:09 am

I DONT FEEL GOOD ABOUT THIS GAME AND DONT WANT 2 MAKE EXCUSES BUT WE DONT MATCH UP WELL WITH SEATTLE, BUT ON A POSSITIVE SIDE WE WON 13 GAMES AND FOR 2ND TRAIGHT YEAR WE HAVE THE BEST REG SEASON RECORD IN NFC, ALL I CAN SAY IS WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR ARE YOU WITH ME ATLANTA FANS I AM GETTING CHILLS SOWN MT BACK THINKING OF NEXT YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!

old falc

January 11th, 2013
11:09 am

if stoping the run depends on dent , we’re in troulble

g

January 11th, 2013
11:11 am

Look at me i am a proyd product of atlanta school system i can spell my own name g !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Statick

January 11th, 2013
11:13 am

if stoping the run depends on dent , we’re in troulble

He’s a lot better than what he was at the beginning of the year, that’s for sure. Back then, instead of looking for the ball, he was guessing where it was going to go, which resulted in him shooting the wrong gap or getting taken out of the play on a backside block.

Matt Ryan

January 11th, 2013
11:15 am

YOU TOLD ME G, WAIT YOUR MOTHERS CALLING YOU YOUR ROOM IN THE BASEMENT IS A PIG STY, FET THE PIZZA BOX AND BEER CANS OFF THE FLOOR, SO SHE CAN DO YOUR LAUNDRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

g

January 11th, 2013
11:18 am

Times are tough, but i will be out of here and on my own before i am 45 years old which is still 3 years away,, DAM I BETTER FIND A JOB IN THE NEXT YEAR OR SO, IS MCDONALDS HIRING??

Kurtis

January 11th, 2013
11:19 am

I think SeaPuke fans are more obnoxious that the ‘Aints fans. Can’t wait for them to get b!tch slapped Sunday.

Matt Ryan

January 11th, 2013
11:20 am

G, MAYBE I CAN GET YOU A JOB SELLING PEANUTS IN THE STANDS STARTING NEXT YEAR,

g

January 11th, 2013
11:23 am

Ma, come down the basement, i have a job awaiting me selling peanuts starying next season selling peanuts, AND YOU WERE DISAPOINTED IN DID NOT GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL,

Russell Wilson

January 11th, 2013
11:23 am

Does anyone know Ned Beatty’s phone number?

JSS

January 11th, 2013
11:24 am

@ Ledbetter…
Does the HOF provide you media guys with percentages for the semi-finals voting?

Told folks back at game 3 of the pre-season that the run defense was going to a mess… Personnel dictated it…

Kurtis

January 11th, 2013
11:26 am

Yo, g, can you hook me up with a job there when you get hired, if not thats just wack!!!!!!!!!!!

g

January 11th, 2013
11:27 am

i can get you in i should be manager by week 6

411monk

January 11th, 2013
11:28 am

Seahawks homer here, I will proudly admit. Here’s the deal the Falcons should win this game, they are the 1 seed they should easily handle the Seahawks. I honestly don’t think the Seahawks can pull this one out, travelling across country back to back. Plus we are a young team, and are probably one year away for being seriously considered. You guys are a 1 seed, quit acting so scared.

Kurtis

January 11th, 2013
11:30 am

YO MA, come down the basement i think i have a job waiting 4 me, g is going to hook me up,

g

January 11th, 2013
11:32 am

QUIET, im practicing my line, PEANUTS GET YOUR PEANUTS, PEANUTS GET YOUR PEANUTS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vu Ḉa Avant

January 11th, 2013
11:34 am

I am sure the real Matt Ryan can spell, he’s from Boston College for heaven’s sake, they take their pride in vocabulary there. What he can’t do is win an NFL playoff game.

Matt Ryan

January 11th, 2013
11:42 am

I AM USUALLY A GRAET SPELLER BUT THIS TIME OF YEAR I DONT KNOW WHY, BUT I CHOKE AT EVERYTHING I DO Y IS DAT?????? NO WORRIES I WILL BE ON TOP OF MY GAME IN SEPTEMBER

g

January 11th, 2013
11:44 am

yo, matt, my mom told me to ask you if the job has 1 of those 40-1 ks

Matt Ryan

January 11th, 2013
11:47 am

SORRY G, NO, AND ITS CALLED A 4O1K, DAM ATLANTA SCHOOL SYSTEMS ARE ALMOST AS BAD AS THE HISTORY OF ALL ATLANTA TEAMS, 1 CHAMPIONSHIP IN THERE HISTORY, THAT IS BRUTAL, CANT WAIT TO GO TO EAGLES BY NEXT YEAR I HOPE

Russell Wilson

January 11th, 2013
11:59 am

I’m so dang tired. West coast, east coast, then west coast and now Coach Cheat Carroll tell me I gots to go back to east coast again. I feel dizzy, but that may be from wearing those stilts in pratice when Coach Cheat makes me role play being Matt Ryan. He’s sooo pretty. Very good quaterback. When I grow up I want to be just like him. Anyway, I like the role play I have with Coach Cheat after pratice the best. He calls it “Mountain Man Redneck” and I get to be Ned Beatty. That’s a lot more fun. Well, gotta go, I need my booty rest.

Enkinan

January 11th, 2013
12:03 pm

Yeah, I saw those few games listed above where they did a damn fine job of stopping the run against premier backs. The problem is giving up the huge chunks of yardage. They will hold for quite awhile, then BAM, give up a 60 yarder. Every single one of those has been due to missed tackles. They simply have to make the tackles or it may cost them a playoff win.

El Snipero

January 11th, 2013
12:04 pm

Told folks back at game 3 of the pre-season that the run defense was going to a mess… Personnel dictated it…

How many times did the running game beat the Falcons this year. This is the playoffs. Everyone knows arm and shoulder hits are not going to suffice for actual tackles. Your point is irrelevant.

El Snipero

January 11th, 2013
12:08 pm

I think we know which name the usual troll is using these days. Writing everything in caps, misspelling half of his words, yes our old village idiot “CH0KE” has not gone anywhere.

Marshawn Lynch

January 11th, 2013
12:09 pm

Ouch. My foot hurts. I was hoping I would get to run against Asante and Thomas but I think Sean and Akeem are gonna tear my butt up out there.

Esquire

January 11th, 2013
12:11 pm

Hey, Falcons fans, it’s open to the public!!!

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PARKING: Parking is conveniently located right across the street at the 311 Marietta Street parking deck (attached to the Hilton Garden Inn). STATS provides its customers with up to three validated hours of self-parking in this deck.

Russell Wilson

January 11th, 2013
12:13 pm

I bet you got a bone in it Marshawn.

Joshua Brown

January 11th, 2013
12:17 pm

“make sure you are loud. We’re going to need it. Hopefully after this game we come out on top and we’ll need it next week. Let’s get it done this week because it does help when the Rise up Nation is there hootin and hollering and screaming. It’s such an energy to the guys on the field and we appreciate it.” -TONY GONZALEZ

Esquire

January 11th, 2013
12:19 pm

If Seattle leaves on a flight about 4pm today they aren’t gonna land until close to midnight Atlanta time. That makes for a long day and most of a day lost to practice. Of course, Coach Pete Carroll doesn’t think they need it.

WE ARE THE MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS!!

Russell Wilson

January 11th, 2013
12:19 pm

I know the Falcons gonna kick our butts until their knee cap catches fire. I just hope they don’t change legs and keep kicking. Speaking of kicking, I saw our new kicker get 3 of 5 extra points over the cross bar in pratice yesterday. I think he’ll be ok after Coach Cheat gets the rust outa his leg. I guess that’s what he was doing.

Warrick Dunn

January 11th, 2013
12:25 pm

Advantage Seahawks

If that isn’t the understatement of the decade…

Matt Flynn

January 11th, 2013
12:27 pm

I heard there are still tickets available for the game. Way to represent Falcon fans! hahahaha

I usually just read but...

January 11th, 2013
12:30 pm

Anyone saw 206 today? I hope he didn’t pull a “Kurt Cobain” after reality set in.

ItsMe

January 11th, 2013
12:33 pm

Who’s Lynch? Oooohhh…that’s the guy who ran like 24 yards on us last year. We got this!

I usually just read but...

January 11th, 2013
12:35 pm

How long does it take Greyhound to get from Seattle to ATL?

cdog

January 11th, 2013
12:35 pm

seattle doesn’t have any advantages over the falcons.the falcons will win going away big.

El Snipero

January 11th, 2013
12:40 pm

Oh darn why can the game be playedl later than 1pm as i need to feather dust, vacume, feed my cat, and i usually have RUN COOLIES, and alone time at WITH THE FELLAS, 1pm on sundays, oh fudge, i guess we can drink our rum coolies during the game and have a quickie at half time, OHHHHHH i get so tingly thinking of the fellas!!!!!!!!!

I usually just read but...

January 11th, 2013
12:41 pm

Maybe they’ll opt up for Amtrak, hopefully, no one dies in the crash.

Free To A Good Home

January 11th, 2013
12:41 pm

@MATT RYAN ~Are your parents siblings?

Matt Ryan

January 11th, 2013
12:43 pm

El Snipero YOU ARE A SICK FLAMER THAT MAKES ME SICK TO MY STOMACHE!!!!!!!

THIS IS WHY I WANT TO LEAVE THIS LOSER TOWN AND PLAY FOR THE TEAM I ROOTED 4 GROWING UP THE EAGLS, E-A-G-L-E-S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I usually just read but...

January 11th, 2013
12:48 pm

RUN COOLIES?
I know, you’re a Seasquak fan and you meant “RUN we have COOTIES”
I’m not surprised what with all the grungers out there. Who needs a bath? Right?

THE REAL MATT RYAN

January 11th, 2013
1:02 pm

Don’t worry folks. We will crush the Seahawks and continue our way to the Super Bowl. And when I’m done with them I am going to throw a football in the face of those who pretend to be me on this blog.

warfalcon

January 11th, 2013
1:02 pm

NO DOUBT——–ONE GAME AT A TIME—————-NO MORE BAD GAMES————LETS GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Still Gritz Blitz'n

January 11th, 2013
1:47 pm

Oh yeah; Akeem Dent; Nicholas;Peters, round off a solid group of linebackers.

Still Gritz Blitz'n

January 11th, 2013
1:49 pm

@THE REAL MATT RYAN; Hit ‘em in the nads; then hear ‘em squeal.

Still Gritz Blitz'n

January 11th, 2013
1:52 pm

Strong Focus wrapping up “D”, still lay the wood.