With football back, we will finally have a chance to watch this Falcons team with our own eyes. Atlanta’s 2020 squad has some serious potential, but with that potential comes expectations, and this could be this regime’s last ride if things don’t go according to plan. It all starts at home against a Super Bowl contender — the Seattle Seahawks.
Chase Irle’s Prediction
Given that the offseason was shortened significantly and there were no preseason games, I expect the offenses to have a little catching up to do early in the season. That should even things out in this matchup, considering both sides feature significantly better offenses than defenses. Russell Wilson has always given the Falcons’ defense fits, but the same can be said for Matt Ryan against Seattle. The 2016 MVP owns a 5-2 record over the Seahawks in his career, and I expect him to improve on that mark Sunday.
While I love Russell Wilson, the Falcons have an edge in the trenches. Not only do the Seahawks lack talent on both their offensive and defensive lines, but they are also traveling across the country and getting up at 10:00 AM to play their first game of the season without any tune-ups. That smells like a recipe for disaster, even if there are no fans in the stadium. The Falcons take advantage of that and put up enough points to start 2020 on the right foot.
Falcons – 24 Seahawks – 20
Jake Gordon’s Prediction
I’m a bit of an optimist when it comes to this team, and Atlanta made it a close game in MBS in 2019 with Matt Schaub at quarterback. Seattle will be without Jadeveon Clowney and might even be trotting out Carlos Hyde at running back due to a laundry list of injuries. Atlanta will mostly be at full strength, and their high powered offense may have an advantage early in the season if these NFL defenses aren’t as used to game speed as they would typically be. As great as Russell Wilson is, I like Atlanta to make a statement in Week 1.
Falcons – 38 Seahawks – 20
Alex Lord’s Prediction
Starting with the Falcons’ defensive line, the pass rush has an advantage over a terrible Seattle offensive line, featuring three new starters from a season ago. But the lack of pass protection for Russell Wilson is nothing new and will likely slow but not stop the most elusive quarterback in the pocket from getting in the endzone.
The Atlanta offensive line is not incredibly impressive, but the group looks elite compared to the Seattle pass rush. Matt Ryan should have plenty of time to throw, which will result in points.
Atlanta’s secondary is at a disadvantage when considering Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf are coming off impressive seasons, and the Falcons will be trotting out two starters with limited experience in Isaiah Oliver and A.J. Terrell.
Seattle’s secondary and Atlanta’s receiving threats are a much more even match. Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Hayden Hurst will be up against Quinton Dunbar, Quandre Diggs, and Jamal Adams. If I had to give a slight favor, it would be toward Atlanta because of the amount of time the Seattle secondary will have to cover the Falcons receivers.
Atlanta’s team on paper should be given the edge, but Russell Wilson is a game-changer. The guy is a magician and seems to create the most out of every flawed roster he is provided each offseason.
Falcons – 23 Seattle – 27