Y’all know me (still the same O.G.), I’m here rooting for the Seahawks to lose. I want to be rid of Geno Smith, I want a high draft pick next year, and I want that high draft pick to be devoted to an elite franchise quarterback, so we can get right back to winning Super Bowls. So, I want the Seahawks to lose this Sunday against the Falcons. I’m predisposed to believe we can and will lose to the Falcons.
Ergo, it takes a lot to lead me to believe the Seahawks will probably prevail.
I think the Falcons are bad. I think they’re bad in a similar way to the Seahawks being bad – they have a clear placeholder quarterback (Mariota) just playing out the string before they lose enough games to give their rookie a shot – and I also believe that rookie is by no means the “future”, but rather a future backup. I think the Falcons are going to use their high draft pick next year to ALSO try and draft an elite franchise QB.
The difference between how bad the Falcons are and how bad the Seahawks are comes down to the talent around those two placeholders. I think the Seahawks have some sneaky-good talent on the roster, whereas I think the Falcons are completely bereft. They have a rookie wide receiver who might be elite, but has yet to prove anything. And, they have a tight end who they adamantly refuse to throw the ball to. That’s pretty much it for the offense, other than Cordarrelle Patterson (who I’m firing up in a couple of leagues, fully expecting to disappoint me at every turn). And, I’m assuming, the defense is similarly a joke.
When you tack on how the Seahawks are at home in this one, I think we’ll win fairly comfortably. I think our offense will have no trouble breaking that streak of scoreless quarters (at six and counting), and our defense will be just good enough to allow us to prevail in a one-score game (perhaps with the Falcons scoring late to bring it to within one score). Give me 27-24, Seahawks.
More specifically, I think this one comes down to the running game for the Seahawks. Even though I do expect Geno to have a pretty good game from a fantasy perspective, I think we’re going to rededicate ourselves to running the ball on offense, and stopping the run on defense. Make Mariota beat us with his arm. He’ll get a few shots in, but ultimately I don’t think he has what it takes.
How confident am I? Not very. There’s another way this game plays out. The 0-2 Falcons lost by a point at home to the Saints (who allegedly have a very good defense), and they came roaring back on the road against the Rams, pulling a 28-3 game in the second half all the way to 31-27. That’s not chopped liver!
So there’s very much a world where Mariota has all the time in the world to throw, they get lots of chunk plays on the ground, and they funnel Geno Smith into these useless checkdowns that go nowhere. And while I’m more than 50% sure that the Seahawks prevail in this one, I will say that the odds of a Falcons blowout victory are significantly higher than the odds of a Seahawks blowout victory.
Make no mistake, the Seahawks should win this game. We’re talking about two evenly-matched teams with the Seahawks having home field. So, if we lose, I think that’s pretty damning. The Falcons have gone closer to a full rebuild than the Seahawks, so by all rights they should be worse. If they’re not, then I think that will speak volumes for our chances to getting a high draft pick next year.
Looking ahead, I don’t see that game in Detroit as anything we can reasonably win. We follow that up with a game in New Orleans; both feel like safe losses, based on what I’ve seen through two weeks. Looking further ahead, the home game against the Giants doesn’t feel so automatic anymore; they’ve really stepped up in their 2-0 start. And even looking WAY ahead at the likes of the Panthers and Jets should be concerning. If we don’t beat the Falcons, and look bad in the process, I’ll legitimately wonder if there’s another victory on our schedule.
So, no pressure or anything.