Why The Falcons Will Win The Super Bowl

Why The Falcons Will Win The Super Bowl

At the conclusion of the NFC Championship game, the Atlanta Falcons stood victorious, having defeated NFC powerhouses the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers in consecutive weeks by decisive margins. Carried by a feisty defense and by far the NFL’s best offense, led by its MVP-caliber quarterback, Matt Ryan, the Falcons final challenge will take place at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas to face the AFC champion New England Patriots for the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl LI. At…

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On The Plus Side, This Season Taught The Hawks Exactly What Their Weaknesses Are

On The Plus Side, This Season Taught The Hawks Exactly What Their Weaknesses Are

The Seattle Seahawks traveled to the Georgia Dome to meet the Atlanta Falcons. Despite the Seahawks playing in a dome, on turf, and despite scoring an opening drive touchdown, the Hawks surrendered the game, 36-20. Any season not ending in a Super Bowl ends in disappointment and so ended the 2016 season—a season highlighted by a litany of injuries, including Thomas Rawls, CJ Prosise, Russell Wilson, Michael Bennett, Kam Chancellor, Luke Willson, Tyler Lockett, and most of all, Earl Thomas,…

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Look Out, NFC, Seahawks Playoff Magic Is Back. Hoo-Hah!!!

Look Out, NFC, Seahawks Playoff Magic Is Back. Hoo-Hah!!!

18to40 is happy to report that football will exist at least one more week in the Pacific Northwest. The Seattle Seahawks (11-5-1) defeated the Detroit Lions, 26-6, meaning the Hawks advance to the NFC divisional game against the Atlanta Falcons (11-5). Century Link Field Even though the Seahawks had a far better defense than the Lions, had finished the last three games with a record of 2-1 (whereas the Lions were 0-3), had a 10-0 win/loss count in playoff games…

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Seahawks’ Second Season Begins, Signs Point To Wild Card Victory Against Lions

Seahawks’ Second Season Begins, Signs Point To Wild Card Victory Against Lions

The Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1) defeated the San Francisco 49ers (2-14). The Arizona Cardinals (7-8-1) took down the Los Angeles Rams (4-12). The Seahawks will play the Detroit Lions during the wildcard round of the playoffs. Seahawks Give Glimpse Into Playoff Plans Needing a victory and an Atlanta Falcons loss to secure the two-seed and a bye week in the playoffs, the Seahawks entered Sunday with a lot to play for but soon saw their opportunity wane, as the Falcons broke…

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Loss To Cardinals Full Of Silver Linings, Still Hope For Our Seahawks

Loss To Cardinals Full Of Silver Linings, Still Hope For Our Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks (9-5-1) lost to the Arizona Cardinals (6-8-1). The Los Angeles Rams (4-11) lost to the San Francisco 49ers (2-12). Let’s Workshop This Offense (Some More) Germain Ifedi Is Getting Up To Game Speed. Weeks ago, 18to40 took apart a “stunt” play on Ifedi. During the play, Ifedi got stuck on his initial assignment, chasing Buccaneers’ defensive lineman Gerald McCoy in favor of holding his ground for defensive lineman Ryan Russell. When Ifedi realized his mistake, he watched…

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Seahawks’ Defense Does It Again. Curse Against Rams Finally Broken.

Seahawks’ Defense Does It Again. Curse Against Rams Finally Broken.

The Seattle Seahawks (9-4-1) defeated the Los Angeles Rams (4-10), their first win against the Rams since December 28th, 2014. This long-time-coming win also sealed the NFC West title for the Seahawks, their third division championship in four years. The Arizona Cardinals (5-7-1) will play the New Orleans Saints, and the San Francisco 49ers (1-12) will play the Atlanta Falcons, on Sunday, December 17th. The Defense Brings The Heat Again In 14 opening drives this season, the Seahawks’ offense has…

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The Seahawks Are A Dark Horse To Win The Super Bowl. They Probably Like It That Way.

The Seahawks Are A Dark Horse To Win The Super Bowl. They Probably Like It That Way.

The Seattle Seahawks (8-4-1) lost to the Green Bay Packers. The Arizona Cardinals (5-7-1) lost to the Miami Dolphins. The Los Angeles Rams (4-9) lost to the Atlanta Falcons. The San Francisco 49ers (1-12) lost to the New York Jets. Tough Sledding Despite having the easiest final six games for all division leaders in the NFC, the Seahawks are 1-2 at the midway point, highlighted by pretty disastrous outings against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Packers. Earlier in the…

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18to40 One-Off: Chiefs Face Big Time Thursday Night Game, Four Keys To Victory

18to40 One-Off: Chiefs Face Big Time Thursday Night Game, Four Keys To Victory

Thursday night, December 7th, the Kansas City Chiefs (9-3) will attempt to break the Oakland Raiders (10-2) six-game winning streak. Owning the superior division record, a Chiefs victory would move the team into either the one or two seed, a title filled with so many tie-breakers that it’s difficult to make sense out of it. Here are four aspects to a Chiefs victory. Houston, We Have A Problem. A pass rushing extraordinary with a knack for deflecting passes and forcing…

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Redemption Win Against Panthers Proves Bittersweet; Minus Thomas, Team Must Overcome Greatest Challenge Yet

Redemption Win Against Panthers Proves Bittersweet; Minus Thomas, Team Must Overcome Greatest Challenge Yet

The Seahawks hand a beat down to the Panthers. Everything is right with the universe.

No position on the Seahawks was of greater concern and uncertainty than that of running back, where a string of injuries cost the offense its versatility. The backfield carnage started with CJ Prosise’s wrist injury and was followed by Russell Wilson’s ankle, Thomas Rawl’s leg, Wilson’s knee, Prosise’s shoulder, Troymaine Pope’s ankle, and then, momentarily on Sunday, Rawls in the concussion protocol. Finally, on Sunday, the offense played its first game with both Wilson and Rawls at full strength since week 14 of the 2015 season. What resulted was a running explosion of 240 yards, the strongest performance of the season and a rebound from a season-low 33 yards only a month prior. This dramatic improvement has hardly been formulaic. Against the Patriots and the Eagles, Prosise was the leading rusher. Against the Buccaneers, it was Wilson. Against the Panthers, it was Rawls. This running game is not only resurfacing but is no longer built for one specific person or one specific philosophy. It wants lots of weapons with lots of options and the personnel is there, if these guys can stay on the field.

Prosise’s and Wilson’s performances almost feel like slow motion juxtaposed to the eye-popping displays of instinct and speed from Rawls.

Seahawks’ Offense Was Outgunned And Outcoached, Did Buccaneers Call Psychic Hotline?

Seahawks’ Offense Was Outgunned And Outcoached, Did Buccaneers Call Psychic Hotline?

Outside of the first quarter, a thin defensive unit—missing Pro Bowlers Earl Thomas and Michael Bennett, starting cornerback DeShawn Shead, and fill-in linebacker Brock Coyle—used physicality to force Tampa Bay out of their offense. Frank Clark drew a holding penalty in the end zone for a safety. Kam Chancellor made an incredible open field tackle on Doug Martin to (probably) save a touchdown. Cassius Marsh got underneath tight end Cameron Brate to take down Doug Martin for a loss. Ahtyba Rubin reached in to strip the ball from Doug Martin. Yet, no one contributed in the same manner as KJ Wright. North of three minutes left in the half, with the Buccaneers on the Seahawks’ 33-yard line, Wright blew up a screen pass to Martin, tackling Martin for a two-yard loss. Minutes later, Wright dropped a shoulder so hard into Brate that Brate was knocked backward before going out of bounds, causing the quarter to expire before the Buccaneers could attempt a field goal.

Wright’s best play was early in the third quarter, on 3rd and 1. The Buccaneers had committed to the run all afternoon and this short yardage situation was no different. The offense brought in an extra offensive lineman and lined up in the eye formation with a tight end acting as a fullback. Despite these big bodies, Wright got antsy, approaching the line. He flinched his left leg in a step toward the bottom side of the line. He knew where to attack this run, and he knew why he needed a quick step to the outside. At the snap, offensive guard Kevin Pamphile (64) headed upfield to take out Wright, but Wright’s step down caused Pamphile to slide past him. By the time Wright made his move, Bobby Wagner (54) was being taken out by Brate. Wright split the remaining run blocking in two.