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Posts tagged with "Seahawks"

The Los Angeles Rams (3-1) have to be considered the biggest early-season surprise in the NFL so far considering they lead the NFC West by one game over the Seattle Seahawks (2-2) and Arizona Cardinals (2-2), the preseason favorites to win the division.

This Sunday, the Rams will host the Seahawks as small home betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com and try to make a serious statement with another victory.

Los Angeles has split its first two home games, routing the Indianapolis Colts 46-9 as 3.5-point favorites in the season opener and then dropping a 27-20 decision to the Washington Redskins the following week as 3-point chalk. The Rams are coming off an impressive 35-30 win over the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday as 5-point road underdogs.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks woke up in the second half last week in the Sunday Night Football matchup to blow out the Indianapolis Colts 46-18 after trailing 15-10 at halftime.

Seattle improved to 2-0 at home but has gone 0-2 on the road both straight up and against the spread. Seattle has won 18 of the past 24 meetings with the Rams but has failed to cover three of the last four, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

A bit later on Sunday, the Cowboys (2-2) will be looking to rebound from their loss to the Rams when they host the Green Bay Packers (3-1) as small home favorites in a rematch of last year’s Divisional Round playoff game. The Packers won the last meeting 34-31 in overtime as 5-point road dogs, and they are hoping to win their third in a row following their lone loss of the season to the Atlanta Falcons back in Week 2.

The Dallas defense was disappointing in the loss to Los Angeles and will need to improve quickly in order to hold Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense in check. Rodgers carved up the Cowboys in their playoff win with 355 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Rodgers threw for a season-low 179 yards but a season-high four touchdowns last Thursday in a 35-14 victory against the Chicago Bears. The Packers have won six of the past seven meetings with the Cowboys SU, going 5-2 ATS at sports betting sites in those games.

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They weren’t able to against Chicago, but we like their chances better.

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta had a relatively lame week running the football, thanks to mixed luck with blocking, a stout Chicago defensive line, and a less than stellar effort by Devonta Freeman and (in particular) Tevin Coleman. It’s safe to say I don’t expect that to be the case very often.

Will it be against Green Bay, though?

I do think Atlanta can pull down about 100 yards against Green Bay, but I don’t think this is the week that the ground game really explodes. Mike Daniels and that stout Packers line can be problematic, the team has a decent young set of linebackers, and they swarm to the ball pretty effectively. The Seahawks got about 80 yards behind a bad offensive line and did so only carrying the ball 18 times, but 40 of those yards were tied up in two carries by Russell Wilson. Atlanta won’t have it easy, but they should be able to get theirs.

Let’s hear your prediction for the game ahead for the likes of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, and then use this as your open thread for the night.

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“All Gas, No Brakes.”

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Facons excel at coming up with new ways to motivate themselves under Dan Quinn, and one of the ways they’ve done so is multiple slogans, mantras, and inspirational sayings that help to rally the team together. Personally, I’m a fan of the latest one.

The “All Gas, No Brakes” slogan neatly wraps up Dan Quinn’s entire philosophy, but it actually originated with linebacker LaRoy Reynolds. The Falcons are a team that wants to fly around the field, never stop running, and maybe play right up to the whistle and juuuuust a little beyond. Ricardo Allen lends us some more context below.

Falcons free safety Ricardo Allen talks about the team’s latest slogan of “All Gas, No Brakes” going into Sunday… http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0700392767691430344-4 

 coach Dan Quinn breaks down the “All Gas, No breaks” slogan the team has embraced. LB LaRoy Reynolds came up with it.

After a little bit of a sluggish effort against the Bears, especially on the offensive side of the ball, this particular motto is a good one to embrace against an aggressive, attacking Packers team. Green Bay put up 21 points in the NFC Conference Championship Game (against 44 points for Atlanta!) and just 17 points against the Seahawks in Week 1, so speedy, effective play on both sides of the ball could make this one easier than expected.

Just, you know, don’t drive like that.

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Ahmad Brooks

Ahmad Brooks was signed to the active roster only a short time ago, but his absence for this coming Sunday will be a bigger issue than most realize.

As Kyler Fackrell continued to disappoint during the preseason, the Packers signed Ahmad Brooks to a one year deal to be a situational pass rusher and third down specialist.

Brooks did not record a sack in week one against the Seahawks, but was effective in keeping Russell Wilson in the pocket and hurrying him into unwanted throws.

Brooks may be 33, but his pass rushing skills are still effective and make for an excellent complement behind Clay Matthews and Nick Perry.

The Packers front seven was everywhere last Sunday, making life quite unpleasant for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense.

This coming Sunday however, will be a completely different story.

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Matt Ryan and the Falcons figure to fly out of the gates. But then … (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Every year we see a team light September on fire only to fade down the stretch. Last year the Eagles and Vikings appeared to be Super Bowl contenders before both faltered over the second half of the season and failed to even make the playoffs. The 2017 season will be no different. A franchise will climb toward the top of everyone’s power rankings by Week 5 only to be on the outside looking in at the playoff race by Week 17

The most likely contender for that title this season is none other than the Atlanta Falcons, a team that’s been the hot starter/slow finisher as recently as 2015 when they came out the gates 5-0 before finishing 3-8 over their next 11 games. The biggest reason why is simply the difficulty of the second half of their season. From Weeks 9 to 17 the Falcons have to play all six of their division games as well as face the Cowboys, Seahawks and Vikings – three teams with a combined record of 31-16-1 last year. Let’s break it down further though to get a picture of how the Falcons season could play out.

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Aaron Rodgers photo
Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, in Green Bay.

JEFFREY PHELPS, ASSOCIATED PRESS

GREEN BAY — Aaron Rodgers is no dummy.

After the Green Bay Packers’ past six seasons have ended short of the Super Bowl — he led the 2010 team to the Super Bowl XLV title in his third season as the starter — there was no way on earth the two-time NFL MVP quarterback was about to wax philosophic on what a third such award would mean to him.

“I hope we’re having this conversation later in the year, where we’re talking about our team being successful and me playing the right way,” Rodgers said simply.

Whether Rodgers has given any thought privately to the possibility, only he can say. But after the way he finished last season, delivering on his run-the-table remark by putting together one of the best stretches of football of his 13-year NFL career, there’s certainly reason to think he’s got another MVP-caliber season in him.

“He’s at the peak of his career. He’s at the top of his game. It’s hard to imagine what more he can do or how much better he can play,” said Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, whose team opens its season against the Packers today at Lambeau Field.

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Despite the continued presence of Amos Jones, the Arizona Cardinals’ special teams unit could be vastly improved this season

The Arizona Cardinals knew what they had to do. The club’s brass had watched the special teams portion of their football team squander winnable games in 2016. Losses that more than likely cost the Cardinals a postseason appearance.

With it painfully obvious that changes were needed, the front office went into action. Problem areas have been addressed this offseason. Reinforcements were brought in, and some pretty good ones at that.

SEATTLE, WA – JANUARY 19: Kicker Phil Dawson #9 and punter Andy Lee #4 of the San Francisco 49ers sit on the bench during the 2014 NFC Championship against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on January 19, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The first piece to be sent packing was placekicker Chandler Catanzaro. His eleven missed kicks were a major contributor to Arizona’s troubles last year. Another year of the “Catman” trotting onto the field to attempt important field goals or extra points would not have been a comforting sight.

His replacement just happened to be one of the NFL’s most-reliable kickers. Phil Dawson, a veteran of 18 campaigns in the league, was welcomed with open arms. The 42-year old will provide a calming presence that was sorely needed.

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DE Cassius Marsh

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today that they have acquired DE Cassius Marsh from Seattle in exchange for undisclosed draft selections.

Marsh, 25, was originally drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round (108th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder has appeared in 37 regular season games with one start and posted 40 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He has also played in four postseason games as a reserve and made one tackle. Last season, he played in all 16 regular season games with one start and posted 17 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

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Arizona Cardinals’ Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson is set to welcome star wide receiver Sammy Watkins to the NFC West

Over the last couple of years, Arizona Cardinals’ cornerback Patrick Peterson has found his strongest competition outside of the NFC West. Wideouts he has faced within the division during that time like Doug Baldwin, Kenny Britt, Torrey Smith and Tavon Austin are all good players. They’re certainly not the league’s cream of the crop at the position, however.

A trade made yesterday by the Los Angeles Rams could be the first step in changing all of that. The club acquired Sammy Watkins from the Buffalo Bills, surely getting the attention of Peterson. You can rest assured that the Cards’ six-time Pro Bowler received news of the deal as soon as it went down.

ATLANTA, GA – NOVEMBER 27: Patrick Peterson #21 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts to a pass interference penalty during the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on November 27, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Peterson is an intense competitor, so he has to be thrilled with this brand new challenge placed before him. Unlike Seattle Seahawks’ corner Richard Sherman, the Cardinals’ seventh-year pro’s job is to shadow the opposing team’s best pass-catcher each and every week. In contrast, Sherman only covers the receivers that line up on his side. When comparisons between the two cover guys is made, that fact alone should give Peterson the nod as to who is better (But I digress!).

That being said, it’s a foregone conclusion that Peterson will be everywhere on the football field that Watkins is whenever the two meet. Barring injury, there will be two matchups this upcoming campaign, and hopefully many more for years to come. Perhaps this new rivalry has the potential to mimic the great Aeneas Williams-Michael Irvin battles that fans enjoyed in the 1990’second.

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The Falcons may be fresh off thumping Seattle in the playoffs, but they’re never easy.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The heart of the Falcons’ 2017 schedule brings a lot of challenges, from the Patriots to the Cowboys to the Seahawks. It’s that last team that I’m particularly intrigued by, as the Falcons seem on the cusp of crafting a real rivalry with this football team.

That’s because these two teams figure to be perennial playoff teams in the near future, and because the Falcons have dealt the Seahawks two crushing playoff defeats in the last five seasons, with their triumph in 2012 en route to the NFC Conference Championship and their big win that catapulted them to the same game against the Packers in 2016. It’s also because Seattle is where Dan Quinn got his NFL start, and the ties between the two teams thus run deep.

So it’s safe to say I’m looking forward to this matchup, but did the Seahawks improve this offseason? To answer that, we turn our baleful gaze to Field Gulls, one of SB Nation’s best sites, and they give us the skinny on the team’s offseason moves.

Seattle Seahawks

Notable free agent additions: RB Eddie Lacy, OT/OG Luke Joeckel, OG Oday Aboushi, LB Michael Wilhoite, LB Arthur Brown, S/CB Bradley McDougald, QB Austin Davis, LB Terence Garvin, DE Dion Jordan, K Blair Walsh

Notable free agent departures: OT Bradley Sowell, K Steven Hauschka, OT Garry Gilliam, TE Brandon Williams, RB Troymaine Pope, FB Will Tukuafu, DT Tony McDaniel, LB Brock Coyle, DE Damontre Moore

Trades: RB Marshawn Lynch to Raiders

Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies:

DT/5-Tech Malik McDowell – The Seahawks traded down twice and eventually selected McDowell out of Michigan State to be their answer to a lack of an inside pass rush. As a rookie, I expect him to be a regular rotation player on the inside with run-stopper Jarran Reed, their second round pick in 2016. Fans and experts will keep a close eye on McDowell’s effort and commitment early on.

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