The Atlanta Falcons start their Super Bowl aspirations when they host the Seattle Seahawks for their divisional playoff round Saturday. But the Falcons see Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson as on tough nut they really need to crack.
According to Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Falcons’ coach Dan Quinn stated Wilson is one tough player to defend. Quinn explained that Wilson’s agility and brains for the game make him a player difficult to pressure. He added they have played other mobile quarterbacks but Wilson is a unique case which they are trying to figure.
“He’s not going to run every play of the game but he is a fantastic competitor,” Quinn said. “He knows when to escape when to get out when to let it rip. We’ll play really aggressively toward him. We’ve played other scramble quarterbacks before, but he has a real knack of where the scramble pattern may go to.”
How can the Falcons stop Wilson?
The Falcons know Wilson is still hurting from recent injuries and are amazed at how he handles leading the Seahawks. Falcons’ defensive coordinator Richard Smith praises Wilson’s intelligence in playing the game despite hurting. Smith added Wilson does not only throw the ball but also reading the defense, beating teams to the end zone.
“A lot of guys wouldn’t have played with his injuries. Right now he looks much healthier. …He can beat you with scrambles and he can beat you with the zone/read business,” Smith explained.
Despite the praises for Wilson, the Falcons are looking to slow down Wilson the Seahawks with their defense. ESPN analyst Herm Edward stated that the match this Saturday will be close especially getting advantages on betting odds. Aside from the defense, the Falcons’ offense also greatly improved a lot that is why they secured the NFC South.
But aside from the advantages, the Falcons are also tracking the vengeance route. The Falcons want to avenge their 26-24 loss to the Seahawks in Week 6. They are coming in well-rested and determine to meet their goals.
Can the Seahawks wreak havoc again?
Defense is one area the Seahawks needs to work with as it could potential end their run this season. Many see the Seahawks victory over the Lions as their “blueprint” to success this season. But needs to get past the Falcons’ defense first which clearly hold on against the toughest teams in the league.
Jeffri Chadiha of NFL.com writes that Thomas Rawls could be a key that the Seahawks hold to pair with Wilson. Rawls played a key role in helping the Seahawks in beating the Lions by running the ball. Even Rawls believe that their running game will help them beat the Falcons this weekend.
“The identity that we always try to keep up is running the ball. We want to run hard, tough and that’s exactly what we did. When we’re true to our identity, it feeds the crowd, it feeds the offense, and it feeds the special teams. And that’s something we want to support throughout the rest of this journey,” Rawls explained.
Saturday night match will be an exciting one with the Falcons ready to display their improved defense. Aside from that, they are also set to test their offense once more behind Matt Ryan. But the Seahawks are also eager to make their return to the Super Bowl starting with a win this weekend.
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