The Falcons open up at home with a pivotal matchup against the Seattle Seahawks — a team many believe will be in the playoffs this year. Russell Wilson put up a season deserving of an MVP in 2019 and is once again a favorite to win the award. He also has more help than he has had over the last few years — both on offense and defense — and Seattle could still add a player like Jadeveon Clowney, who is currently an unrestricted free agent. But either way, the Seahawks will be an incredibly tough matchup for the Falcons in the always unpredictable Week 1.
Chase Irle’s Prediction
To put in perspective just how consistent the Seahawks have been, they’ve had a record above .500 every year since 2012, and I’d be shocked if that didn’t continue. Pete Carroll has built a machine out west, and they are led by one of the best quarterbacks in football, who doesn’t get talked about nearly enough. Their defense keeps improving, and their offense is finally starting to put things together along the line while also featuring a pretty good one-two punch at receiver with Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf.
These two teams met last year at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, with Seattle jumping out to a 24-0 lead in the first half. The Falcons were able to claw back and make it look respectable but still fell 27-20. However, Matt Ryan did not play in that game, and it was before Atlanta made a bevy of positive defensive changes. Still, I don’t trust the defense enough, or the Falcons track record in week one — which has been abysmal since 2016. It’s a toss-up, but I give the Seahawks a slight edge.
Seahawks 27, Falcons 24
Jake Gordon’s Prediction
Matt Schaub famously showed he still had it last year, almost throwing for 500 yards against Seattle in the only start Matt Ryan missed in 2019. Seattle is likely to be without Jadeveon Clowney, who’s number Jarran Reed has already taken. With L.J. Collier being a massive first round bust and their first-round pick this year being questionable at best — I think Atlanta has a leg up on Dan Quinn’s old squad. You always have to be aware of the best linebacker in football — and Hayden Hurst will be put to the test immediately, with Bobby Wagner covering him. Russ is going to be Russ, but I think Atlanta wins this one and makes a statement to begin the year.
Falcons 38, Seahawks 28