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Given the narrow point spread, oddsmakers consider this Week 1 NFC matchup a wash, so choose your favorite and go all in – and in that case, tough to bet against Russell Wilson facing a Falcons defense that was in the bottom half of the league last season.
Seahawks -1.5 -110
|Seahawks vs Falcons Information|
|What||Seattle Seahawks vs Atlanta Falcons|
|Where||Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA|
|When||Sunday, September 13, 2020; 1:00 PM ET|
|How to watch||FOX|
The Seattle Seahawks are an excellent team on the road – they were 7-1 away from CenturyLink Field last season – so don’t expect their cross-country travel to keep them from showing up ready for this one in Atlanta.
The Falcons will once again field one of the best wide receiver corps and arguably one of the league’s most effective quarterbacks, Matt Ryan, and hope that they can not only stay healthy but finally figure out a way to turn all that talent into actual postseason wins.
Last season in October, the Seahawks traveled to Atlanta to take on the Falcons and they came away with a 27-20 win, and without a true home-field advantage in 2020 due to a total lack of a live in-stadium crowd, this one could also go to the visitors.
In his rookie 2019 season, Seahawks much-touted wide receiver D.K. Metcalf proved he was far more than just a perfectly sculpted muscular specimen, which he is, by posting 58 catches for 900 yards and 7 touchdowns, proving to be a reliable young target.
Tyler Lockett and now Phillip Dorsett join Metcalf in the Seahawks receivers’ room, and the group will hopefully begin to mentor newly acquired rookie Freddie Swain, as well.
But for this squad to stay dangerous, Metcalf has to continue his development as a deep threat who’s also large enough to battle for receptions in the middle of the field.
Last season, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was the fifth most productive NFL quarterback, posting 4,466 total passing yards off 408 completions for 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, numbers that are fairly typical for the veteran QB.
But turning those impressive stats into wins is where Ryan has come up short these last few seasons, with injuries to key players playing a critical role in the Falcons’ inability to return to the postseason the last two years.
Ryan has solid receivers to target – Julio Jones is arguably one of the best in the league, plus there’s Calvin Ridley and now soft-handed tight end Hayden Hurst who was acquired in the offseason – so if everyone can stay healthy, the talent is there, but new head coach Dan Quinn has to turn that into victories.
There’s a reason Russell Wilson is currently the highest-paid player in the NFL earning $3 million for the 2020 season – it’s because he’s truly excellent at what he does.
Look at his numbers – last year, Wilson posted 341 completions for 4,110 total yards and 31 touchdowns with just 5 interceptions, and that’s on top of scrambling 75 times for 342 yards and 3 more touchdowns.
With talent like that, it won’t be a question of whether he and the Seahawks will win another Super Bowl, it will be a matter of when.
If the only veteran running back Todd Gurley can stay healthy, he certainly has enough gas in the tank and talent on the field to contribute to the shaky run offense in Atlanta.
In fifteen games last season, Gurley carried the ball 223 times for 857 total yards and 12 touchdowns for the L.A. Rams, plus he caught 31 passes for 2017 yards and 2 more touchdowns.
Last season, the Falcons had the third-worst rushing attack in the league, so whatever Gurley can contribute has to be better than that – hopefully, a whole lot better if offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter can figure out how to best utilize such a veteran talent.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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