It’s time for our weekly Q&A with the editor from our opponent’s Fansided blog. Each week, I ask them 6 questions about their team, and they ask me 6 questions about the Seahawks. This week I’m joined by Jamie from BlogginDirty.com. Be sure to check out my answers to his questions on his site, and let me know if you think I’m way off on my answers!
1) How surprising is it that the Falcons are off to a slow start? What’s been the main cause?
It’s slightly surprising the Falcons are 1-2 at this point, but it must be noted that the Falcons have had a tough start to the schedule (@Chicago, @Tampa Bay and vs Eagles), which is a tough stretch for any team. However what has surprised me so far, is the poor play of the offensive line, which have been terrible to this point. To turn the record around the Falcons need to sort out their pass protection issues fast, to keep Matt Ryan healthy for the long term.
2) Both offensive lines in this game have been pretty bad. For the Seahawks is a problem of youth and inexperience. The Falcons though have a veteran line, and even with everyone back from injury last week is wasn’t any better. What’s been the problem, and is it fixable?
It is difficult to point out the actual problem, with 4 out of the 5 starters returning from last year, their hasn’t been a major shift in personnel. At the moment it has been down to a lack of cohesiveness as a group and also due to poor play particularly from the two tackles Sam Baker and Tyson Clabo. Is it fixable? Yes, they are a talented bunch and just need to get back in sync as a unit, also look of Guard Mike Johnson from Alabama to start at RG, in place of Garrett Reynolds, who has struggled somewhat since being put into the starting lineup.
3) Turner is only getting 14 carries/game. Is it just offensive line problems, or is he finally starting to slow down as he gets close to 30?
It is totally the offensive line at the moment, they are gaining little to no push and getting beat at the line of scrimmage too often for the Falcons’ liking. Michael Turner, in fact is in the best shape of his life and has looked like the 2008 Michael Turner, that took the league by storm. When a hole has been opened for him, he has looked explosive and powerful, look for the Falcons, to try and get him involved early.
4) Before the season, I was expecting the Falcon’s defense to be pretty stout. After 3 weeks, they’re ranked #22 in terms of total yards, and they haven’t played the game’s premiere offenses. What’s gone wrong so far, or were my pre-season expectations unfounded?
In the first game against Chicago, the Defense was terrible, like the rest of the team. In the two games since then they have looked pretty decent, their redzone numbers in particular are very good, and they create their fair share of turnovers to boot. This defense is not built to dominate teams, it is a speedy, bend but don’t break defense, that compliments the offense well (when the offense is playing well that is!). When the defense have conceded scores this season it has usually been down to poor starting field position, as a result of poor special teams play, especially from rookie Punter Matt Bosher, whos punting average is one of the worst in the league.
5) Who is a young player on the Falcons that Seahawks have might not have heard of yet that could have a big impact on the Falcons in the future?
Falcons Safety William Moore is on the brink of breaking out big time. He has been spectacular so far this season in both coverage and run support. He is a viscous hitter as well, which have created some nice Youtube highlight reels. I would compare him to a young Brian Dawkins, which is high praise, but he is becoming that good. Look for him to be in the Probowl before too long.
6) Prediction for the game? What’s the final score?
The Falcons for sure have more talent, but playing away at Quest Field is always tricky. I expect a similar type of game to last years match between these two teams. Where the score is tight early on and then the Falcons break away later. I’ll go for 30 – 14 to the Falcons.