Richard Sherman and the Seattle Seahawks (3-1) invite his former defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and the Atlanta Falcons (4-1) into town on Sunday. Quinn goes up against his former team for the first time since taking the Atlanta head-coaching gig last season. Both teams come into the matchup in first place in their respective divisions, but the Falcons are still searching for national respect as one of the best teams in the NFL. Going into Seattle - one of the hardest places to win in the NFL - gives Atlanta a chance to prove itself.
The key matchup on Sunday will be between Sherman and Julio Jones, whose 517 receiving yards is just two yards shy from the NFL leader (Marvin Jones), and he’s done so on just 24 receptions – good for 21.5 yards per reception. Meanwhile, Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan has thrown for a league-leading 1,740 yards and 12 touchdowns. Ryan’s most successful game was against defending NFC champions Carolina, when he threw for 503 yards and four touchdowns.
If any secondary group was up to the task, it’s the Legend of Boom. Sherman & Co. rank third in the NFL in defensive passing, allowing just 183.8 yards per game. While the Falcons have yet to score less than 24 points in a game, the Seahawks haven’t allowed more than 18 points. The Falcons have gained the most yards in the league, but the Seahawks have allowed the fewest.
On the other side of the ball, Seattle has a considerable advantage. The Falcons are allowing 388.8 total yards per game, which ranks 26thin the league. Although quarterback Russell Wilson hasn’t been able to use his legs this season due to injury, the Seahawks are still averaging 357.5 yards per game. Seattle’s advantage in this matchup could very well decide Sunday’s game.
Kickoff in Seattle is set for 4:25 p.m. ET/1:25 p.m. PT.