Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks
Sunday, October 16, 2016, 4:25 pm Eastern, TV: Fox, NFL Sunday Ticket
CenturyLink Field – Seattle, Washington
Opening Line: Seattle -5 1/2
Current Line: Seattle -7 (-105)
Opening Total: 46
Current Total: 45 1/2
Opening Money Line: Seahawks -215 / Falcons +185
Current Money Line: Seahawks -320 / Falcons +260
The 4-1 Atlanta Falcons travel to the 3-1 Seattle Seahawks in a battle of NFC division leaders. The Falcons lead the NFC South and every other team in the division has at least 3 losses. The Seahawks lead the NFC West by a half game over the 3-2 Los Angeles Rams.
Seattle leads the series 9-6 against Atlanta. The Seahawks won the last meeting 33-10 in Atlanta in 2013 to snap a four game losing streak to the Falcons that included a playoff loss the previous season. The teams are playing in Seattle for the first time since 2011.
Atlanta is coached by Dan Quinn. The Falcons lost at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-24 in week one and have won four straight games since then. Atlanta has road wins over the Oakland Raiders 35-28, New Orleans Saints 45-32, and last week against the Denver Broncos 23-16, plus a home win over the Carolina Panthers 48-33. Against Denver, Atlanta led 20-3 going into the fourth and held on for the win. The maligned Falcon defense held the Broncos to 267 total yards. The Falcons were 3.5 point underdogs against the Broncos and the total was 44.5. Atlanta is 4-1 ATS and the over is 4-1 this season.
Seattle is coached by Pete Carroll. Seattle has a loss at the Los Angeles Rams 9-3. The Seahawks have home wins over the Miami Dolphins 12-10 and San Francisco 49ers 37-18, plus a road win at the New York Jets 27-17 two weeks ago. Against the Jets, Seattle led 14-10 at halftime but scored 13 straight points to take a 27-10 lead in the fourth. New York added a late fumble return for a touchdown to make the final 27-17 and put the game over the total. Seattle was off last week. The Seahawks were 1 point favorites against the Jets and the total was 40. Seattle is 2-2 ATS and the total is 2-2 this season.
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Atlanta is outscoring teams 35-28 this season. The Falcons are #1 in scoring and #27 in points allowed. Atlanta averages 457 yards per game on offense including 333 passing yards and 124 rushing yards. Atlanta leads the league in total and passing offense and is #7 in rushing. On defense, Atlanta allows 389 yards per game including 290 passing and 99 rushing yards. Atlanta is #26 in total defense and #27 against the pass. The Falcons are 28/66 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 33/75. Atlanta has forced 10 sacks and allowed 11 this season. The Falcons are +3 in turnovers with 2 defensive touchdowns.
Quarterback Matt Ryan has completed 69% of his passes for 1,740 yards with 12 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, plus 15 carries for 50 yards. He is an early favorite for the MVP.
Running back Devonta Freeman has 78 carries for 410 yards and 2 touchdowns and also has 14 catches for 117 yards and a touchdown. Tevin Coleman has 46 carries for 160 yards and 4 touchdowns, and also has 17 catches for 313 yards and a touchdown.
Receiver Julio Jones has 24 catches for 517 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is probable with a knee injury. Tight end Jacob Tamme has 17 catches for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns. Mohamed Sanu has 16 catches for 195 yards and a touchdown. Eight defensive players are listed on the injury report for the Falcons including six linebackers.
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Seattle is outscoring teams 20-14 this season. The Seahawks are #3 in points allowed. Seattle averages 358 yards per game on offense including 265 passing and 93 rushing yards. On defense, the Seahawks are allowing 264 total yards per game including 184 passing and 80 rushing yards. Seattle is in the top ten in all categories and leads the league in total defense. The Seahawks are 23/56 on third and fourth conversions and opponents are 19/59. Seattle has forced 9 sacks and allowed 12 this season. The Seahawks are -1 in turnovers.
Quarterback Russell Wilson has completed 65.4% of his passes for 1,064 yards with 5 touchdowns and an interception, plus 15 carries for 28 yards. He has been battling a high ankle sprain but is not listed on the injury report after the bye. Rookie Trevone Boykin has thrown for 65 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Running back Christine Michael has 63 carries for 290 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 12 catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. Thomas Rawls is out indefinitely with a shin injury. Running back C.J. Prosise is questionable with a hand injury. Look for C.J. Spiller to get the back-up carries.
Receiver Doug Baldwin has 24 catches for 330 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Jimmy Graham has 16 catches for 266 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Lockett has 8 catches for 129 yards. He is probable with a knee injury. Jermaine Kearse has 12 catches for 102 yards. Eight defensive players are listed on the injury report.
Atlanta is 4-0 ATS in road games, and overall, 4-1 against teams with winning home records, and after a cover, 3-7 on fieldturf, 2-6 after allowing less than 90 rushing yards, 3-9 against NFC teams, and 1-4 in week six. The over is 4-1 in this series recently.
Seattle is 19-5-2 ATS after passing for more than 250 yards, 5-2-1 after gaining more than 350 total yards, 41-20-2 on fieldturf, 3-7-1 against teams with winning records, 2-5-1 in October, 3-12 in week six, 1-5 after a straight up win, and 0-3-1 against teams with winning records.
For the second straight week, Atlanta is playing a road game out west against a dominant defense. In fact, the Falcons stayed on the West Coast all week instead of returning to Atlanta. Seattle has struggled on offense a little but showed signs of life against the 49ers and Jets. Seattle is also well rested after coming off the bye. I like the Seahawks to win a close game at home.