Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons NFL Week 3 preview

The team’s 27-7 loss to division rivals the San Francisco 49ers highlighted just how far Seattle is from most of the NFL.

SEATTLE — The goodwill gained from the Seahawks’ stunning win over Russell Wilson’s Denver Broncos is waning — if it’s not already gone entirely.

The team’s 7-27 loss to division rivals the San Francisco 49ers last week showed just how remote Seattle is from most parts of the NFL. (And it shows how Denver Broncos rookie head coach Nathaniel Hackett screwed up a winnable game in Week 1.)

The Seahawks’ win in Week 1 was undeniably important to the fans and the franchise, but the team can’t go all season with a single big win.

A home win over the winless Atlanta Falcons on Sunday afternoon would help restore some optimism.

game info

  • Match: Seahawks (1-1) vs. Falcons (0-2)
  • Time: Sunday, 1:25 p.m
  • Location: Lumenfeld, Seattle, Washington
  • Important Seahawks: Geno Smith (QB), DK Metcalf (WR), Tyler Lockett (WR)
  • Keyhawk: Marcus Mariota (QB), Drake London (WR), Kyle Pitts (TE)

Seattle’s stone age crime

In two games, the Seahawks’ offense was very, very bad. Which we expected the most since quarterback Geno Smith was leading the offense.

But the extent to which the Seahawks are running a Stone Age-worthy offensive is remarkable. For one, they only average 12 points per game, the 30th lowest in the National Football League (NFL).

Seattle runs just 48 games per game, easily the lowest mark in the league. The Seahawks were also bottom in games per game at 56 in 2021. Their pace of play is the 28th slowest according to Football Outsiders.

And here’s the showstopper: Smith’s average throw is just 5.2 yards as the veteran doesn’t seem ready to widen the field. (Or maybe head coach Pete Carroll isn’t planning receivers open to him to capitalize on. We’ll see).

Unless something dramatic changes, these offensive tweaks will dramatically violate caps for wide receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, who have combined for 206 yards in two games this season. Metcalf’s average target depth in 2021 with Wilson was 13.4; that mark has dropped to 7.8 this year.

There’s really little going on in the pass-catching ranks, with the top two wideouts dominating 48% of the Seahawks’ goals.

Tight end Noah Fant, a potential preseason breakout candidate, has made a route to just 54% of Smith’s dropbacks and is averaging a meager 13.5 yards per game.

Can Smith unlock more parts of the offensive, or is this unit meant to be played like it’s 1945?

What’s going on in the Seahawks backfield?

That’s not much better. Rookie running back Kenneth Walker III made his Week 2 debut, joining a three-man committee that totaled 34 yards on 12 carries.

According to Pro Football Focus, Travis Homer led all Seahawks running backs with a 45% snap percentage and ran most of the trio’s stretches. He recorded 42 yards on six touches.

Running back Rashaad Penny, the snaps leader last week, was fielded for 41% of snaps and was inefficient on the ground (15 yards).

Walker III was only on the field for 12 snaps, but he dominated touches in limited time with six opportunities.

In the second half, Carroll made the startling decision to play four running backs at once…only to see running back DeeJay Dallas throw a pass attempt that was intercepted in the red zone. This questionable play missed a rare opportunity for the Seahawks’ strikeless offense.

Bottom line: None of the running backs played well or parted ways with their teammates, so this could be another unproductive mess on Sunday afternoon.

Fantasy football tip

Uh, don’t really start anybody on the Seahawks’ offense. Metcalf, Penny and Lockett are possible FLEX options, but nothing more. We’re still a few weeks away from Walker III potentially claiming the lion’s share of running back touches.

injury report

Seahawks: Safety Quandre Diggs and linebacker Cody Barton were restricted in practice Thursday after missing Wednesday entirely. Guards Gabe Jackson and Damien Lewis were upgraded to full participants on Thursday.

However, center Austin Blythe’s status is uncertain. He was restricted on Wednesday and didn’t train on Thursday.

falcons: Atlanta had a clean injury record Thursday, missing only one player from practice, but that was down to a personal matter and not an injury.

game prediction

Falcons 27, Seahawks 17. Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons NFL Week 3 preview

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