Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons Total Line Pick
Opening Line: Seattle -5
Seattle won their fourth-straight game, rallying from 21-0 down to defeat Tampa Bay 27-24 in OT last week. Atlanta dropped their fifth decision in their last six outings, a 34-10 drubbing at the hands of Carolina last Sunday.
The Seahawks offense has been very inconsistent of late. RB Marshawn Lynch is having another fine season but is battling knee soreness. WR Sidney Rice has been placed on IR and the team is still awaiting the debut of WR Percy Harvin. They are also missing starting OTs Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini. That has put a lot of pressure on QB Russell Wilson but he has responded favorably in most situations. The Falcons will look to contain Lynch first and then to pressure Wilson on obvious passing downs. Despite their lost season, Atlanta has finally found a semblance of a pass rush. Only WRs Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate have more than 19 receptions for Seattle so the defense doesn't need to worry about double covering anybody.
Seattle's run defense has been gashed for 405 yards over the past two weeks by two teams that previously ranked in the bottom 10 in rushing: Tampa Bay and St. Louis. The Falcons have RB Steven Jackson back from a hamstring injury but he hasn't been productive in the past two games (24 carries, 67 yards). With few options in the passing game, Atlanta may look to establish Jackson early. QB Matt Ryan has thrown seven interceptions in the last two games and the coaches will scale back the passing game a bit as a result of Ryan trying to do too much. WR Roddy White (check status) may be back for this contest but his hamstring issues are limiting him. TE Tony Gonzalez and WR Harry Douglas are the top two targets but they face the best secondary in the league this week. Seattle is also great at getting to the QB (29 sacks).
The Seahawks have previously had issues travelling to the east coast but they are 4-1 SU on the road this season. However, they have shown a tendency to let up vs. inferior opponents. Atlanta's season is over but they will still try to be competitive. We figure both offenses will have their own issues in this contest and that the defenses will set the tone. We'll take the Under in this one.
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