Seattle Seahawks (0-0) at Atlanta Falcons (0-0)
NFL Football: Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 1:00 pm (Mercedes-Benz Stadium)
The Line: Atlanta Falcons +1 -- Over/Under: 49 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Seattle Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons meet in opening week NFL action from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Seattle Seahawks will look to build on another solid season as the Seahawks finished 2019 with an 11-5 overall record, good for 2nd in the NFC West and good enough to earn an 8th playoff spot in ten seasons under head coach Pete Carroll. The Seahawks would take down Philadelphia in the wild card wound before being defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round. Russell Wilson is back under center once again for the Seahawks after throwing for 4,110 yards, 31 touchdowns and a career-low 5 interceptions last season on 66.1% passing while Chris Carson also returns after leading Seattle’s ground attack with 1,230 yards and 7 touchdowns last season. The rushing game can only get better though as Carson has help behind him in fellow veteran Carlos Hyde as well as former Miami Hurricane DeeJay Dallas as well as Rashaad Penny once Penny is recovered from his torn ACL. Wilson also has some weapons to throw to as Tyler Lockett is back as the Seahawks’ top receiver following his first 1,000-yard season, as well as second-year stud DK Metcalf who had 900 receiving yards and 7 catches in his rookie season. The Seahawks also bolstered their receiving group by adding veteran tight end Greg Olsen as well as signing Phillip Dorsett as a speed threat for the Seahawks as if they needed another one. Defensively, the Seahawks will be looking to get bck to being one of the better defensive units in the NFL after recording just 28 sacks last season, which left many scratching their heads after Seattle chose to not re-sign Jadeveon Clowney. Seattle did bring back Benson Mayowa and Bruce Irvin who combined for 15.5 sacks last season and also re-signed Jarran Reed to a two-year deal. Seattle added to their linebacking group by drafting Jordyn Brooks out of Texas Tech to join up with all-pro Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright at linebacker while the secondary got stronger as well with the Seahawks trading for Jamal Adams to team him up with Quandre Diggs, Shaquil Griffin and Quinton Dunbar in the secondary.
The Atlanta Falcons will hope to carry over a lot of their momentum from the end of the 2019 season after finishing the 2019 campaign with a 7-9 record for the second straight year and a second consecutive season without playoff football. The Falcons did finish the season by winning 6 of their last 8 games to rebound from a 1-7 start, but in the end, it still wasn’t enough as the Falcons finished below .500. Matt Ryan is back at the helm of the Falcons’ offense after throwing for 4,466 yards, 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions on 66.2% passing. The Falcons’ backfield saw somewhat of a retooling/overhaul whatever you want to call it, as the Falcons switched focus from Devonta Freeman, letting him walk into free agency and brought in former Georgia Bulldog Todd Gurley II who rushed for 5,404 yards and 58 touchdowns in 5 seasons as a member of the Rams since being drafted in 2015. Julio Jones remains the primary target at wide receiver for the Falcons following a 6th straight pro-bowl nod and 6th straight 1,000-yard receiving season after hauling in 99 balls for 1,394 yards and 6 touchdowns last season. Hayden Hurst was brought in at tight end to replace Austin Hooper, who was traded to Cleveland, and the supporting cast of Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage and Laquon Treadwell make up a formidable receiving corps full of first-round picks and one that might be the most talented that Ryan’s had at his disposal. Defensively, the Falcons brought in some solid pieces like Dante Fowler Jr. and Takkarist McKinley should be help for Atlanta’s depth when it comes to the pass rush. The Falcons brought in Marlo Davidson from Auburn as a second-round draft pick while Grady Jarrett and Deion Jones are back to anchor the Falcons’ linebacking group as one of the premier duos in the NFL. Only time will tell if the Falcons can actually get over the hump this season and return to the playoffs where a QB like Matt Ryan belongs.
Seattle is 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 road games and 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall while the under is 8-2 in their last 10 games as a road favorite. Atlanta is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall and 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games as a home underdog while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 games against the NFC. Seattle is 0-4 ATS in the last 4 meetings between these two teams.
Seattle’s going to be a team to watch in my eyes for this season as I don’t know what it is, but Russell Wilson can’t buy an MVP vote no matter how well he plays. With that said, I think that’s going to put a chip on Wilson’s shoulder, and we’ve seen that Seattle and Wilson more specifically are a dangerous opposition when they’ve got a point to prove or have a driving motivation and I think if there are no fans in the stands, Atlanta is going to be one of the teams that’s hurt by that the most as Mercedes-Benz can be one of the loudest stadiums in all of the NFL. I think Seattle comes in on opening day and wins this one by at least a field goal, so I’ll lay the points with Seattle as my free pick for this game, but my stronger play is on the total and I have that available as a premium pick that you can find here.