With the first three games on the Falcons schedule (Bears, Eagles, Bucs) all looking like tough games, the week four matchup with the Seahawks should be one of the more winnable games on a very difficult schedule. While this Seattle team may not be the most formidable on paper, they did make it to the playoffs and beat the Saints. With Pete Carroll once again looking to prove his team is legit, I wouldn't call this game a walk in the park just yet.
Record: 7-9, NFC West Champions, Lost to Bears in the divisional round of the playoffs
Last Meeting: Week 15, 2010 (Falcons won 34-18)
Notable Additions: WR Sidney Rice, TE Zach Miller, QB Tarvaris Jackson, OT Robert Gallery
Notable Losses: QB Matt Hasselbeck, S Jordan Babineaux, K Olindo Mare
So instead of Hasselbeck, this time around the Falcons will be facing an offense led by the enigmatic Tarvaris Jackson, who I best remember as the guy who fumbled Atlanta into the playoffs in 2008. Good memories.
Sure, they added a couple of very potent weapons in Sidney Rice and Zach Miller, along with attempting to shore up their porous O-line from last year. But honestly, if you don't have a QB that can get you the ball, what difference does it make? Although running quarterbacks have given the Falcons trouble in the past, Jackson has yet to do anything that proves him to be a legitimate passer in the NFL.
As for the defense, it remains largely unchanged from the one that ranked No. 27 in the league last season. Chris Clemons returns as one of the more formidable pass rushers in the league, and they have a good, young safety in Earl Thomas. Beyond that, however, the Seahawks defense is spotty at best.
For the Falcons, this will be a very similar situation to last season's matchup. Atlanta should be favored, and if the Falcons are of the caliber I (and hopefully most others) think they are, Ryan & Co. should be able to pick apart the Seattle defense without even needing much help from the defense.
There's been so much talk this preseason about the Falcons preparing to "open up" the offense and let Matt Ryan loose. Well, if you're in the mood for fireworks this upcoming matchup with the 'Hawks should be as good as any to see the air attack executed in full swing.