When the schedule came out last April, this game appeared to be a NFC Championship preview.
At the midway point of the season the outlook of this game has changed considerably. The Seahawks still appear to be headed for a deep playoff run with the best record in the NFC at 8-1.
However, the Falcons' season has been a disaster and it appears they are going nowhere except for the top 10 of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Atlanta was supposed to be a Super Bowl contender this year and due to injuries and under performance, they have disappointed.
Despite Atlanta’s 2-6 record they are no push over, especially in the Georgia Dome. Let’s not forget that this same Atlanta team did host the NFC Championship last January and eliminated Seattle in the Divisional Round.
Atlanta will play with a lot to prove. They will remember their near collapse against the Seahawks in that playoff game and won’t forget many people saying the better team lost. With their season all but over, Atlanta will treat this game like it is the postseason and hope to spoil the Seahawks' run at the top seed in the NFC.
Seattle returns to where last season ended and will be out to seek revenge. The Seahawks feel like they left a victory on the field in the playoffs after coming back from a 27-7 deficit in the second half, just to lose on a field goal as time expired. This time Seattle will leave Atlanta victorious in the rematch.
Here are three bold predictions for the Seahawks/Falcons Week 10 matchup.
Doug Baldwin will be the leading receiver in this game for both teams.
Baldwin will outgain the hobbled Roddy White and the other Falcons' receivers who have the tough task of facing Seattle’s Legion of Boom. Baldwin has made several key catches at crucial times this season, especially on third down.
He has Russell Wilson’s trust in big moments and the two have developed a good chemistry. Baldwin caught 6 passes for 75 receiving yards and the game tying touchdown in Seattle’s come from behind win over Tampa Bay in Week 9.
With Sidney Rice out for the season and Percy Harvin yet to make his 2013 debut, Baldwin will get plenty of chances to have an impact game along with Golden Tate. The Wilson and Baldwin connection will carry over against Atlanta’s 19th ranked passing defense.
Steven Jackson’s will be denied 100 rushing yards against the Seahawks for the 18th time in his career.
This doesn’t sound very bold but considering in 17 career games against the Seahawks, Jackson has yet to rush for 100 yards. Seattle’s run defense has been struggling over the last two games, giving up a combined 405 yards to Zac Stacy and Mike James.
This two game stretch has seen the run defense drop from number six in the league down to number 19. Considering Jackson is getting healthier and the Seahawks are struggling; this is as good of time as any for Jackson and the 32nd ranked Falcons' rush offense to turn things around. Jackson may have a decent game but the Seahawks defense will make the necessary adjustments and deny Jackson this milestone.
Seattle will win but not cover the point spread.
Vegas odds have the Seahawks as 5.5 point road favorites; take the Falcons and the points. With this game being an early start on the east coast, Seattle will bring some of their recent struggles with them and get off to another slow start. They will not struggle enough to lose this game but will not cover the point spread. Seattle wins 24-20.