Atlanta and Seattle kickoff the Week 11 Monday Night Football event at 8:30 p.m. ET at CenturyLink Field. Seattle has the pseudo advantage of playing with extended rest. The Falcons travel three time zones to battle a club known for its physicality and home field advantage. Monday Night Football Game Props: Falcons at Seahawks.
The Seahawks (pick’em, 46) saw divisional foe Los Angeles fall to Minnesota on Sunday. Seattle has plenty to play for being just a half-game out of first place in the NFC West. However, the “Hawks enter tonight’s affair without several key players including defensive leader Richard Sherman (Achilles).
Atlanta won’t have running back Devonta Freeman (concussion) for tonight’s contest but are equipped to replace him with backup Tevin Coleman.
Tonight’s contest is a rematch of last season’s NFC Divisional Round playoff matchup, won by the Falcons 36-20, behind three touchdown passes from reigning league MVP Matt Ryan.
ESPN published an interesting article about the Seahawks current state of affairs. “It is possible, maybe even probable, that the Seattle Seahawks’ famed Legion of Boom secondary has played its final defensive snap together. When viewers tune in to see the Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football, they will see only free safety Earl Thomas remaining from the secondary that has driven much of Seattle’s historic success on defense during the Pete Carroll era.”
The article went on to declare “With age, injuries and contractual dynamics imperiling one of the NFL’s most iconic defensive backfields, it’s prime time to assess past, present and future.”
The author, Seattle Seahawks beat writer Mike Sando compared yesterday’s Seattle squad to this year’s version. ” Since 2011, when Sherman joined a Seahawks roster already featuring Thomas and Chancellor, opposing quarterbacks have gone from being historically bad against a fully equipped LOB secondary to quite respectable when one or more of them come off the field.”
Opposing quarterbacks have 83 touchdown passes with 109 interceptions on plays when Thomas, Sherman and Chancellor were all on the field together. This period spans 94 games and 2,869 pass attempts since 2011.
The numbers lend themselves to comical application. Seattle with those players on the field has allowed the following passing numbers on those 2,869 attempts:
- 59.4 percent completions, same as the career rate for Seneca Wallace
- 6.4 yards per pass attempt, same as the career average for EJ Manuel
- 2.9 percent touchdown rate, same as the career rate for Mike McMahon
- 3.8 percent interception rate, same as the career rate for Rex Grossman
- 71.2 passer rating, worse than the career rating for Luke McCown (71.3)
- 40.1 Total QBR, same as the career figure for Mark Sanchez
Put another way, the Legion of Boom has, on the whole, rendered all the quarterbacks it has collectively faced to become indistinguishable from those journeymen.
Remove Thomas, Sherman and/or Chancellor from the field, and the numbers over the same time period (since 2011) flip. Opposing quarterbacks have 41 touchdown passes with 17 interceptions on those plays.
The composite quarterback with numbers approximating those that opponents have put up against these incomplete LOB backfields averaged:
- 6.9 yards per pass attempt, same as the career average for Matt Hasselbeck
- 3.9 percent touchdown rate, same as the career rate for Alex Smith
- 1.6 percent interception rate, lower than the career rate for Tom Brady
- 89.2 passer rating, same as the career rate for Andy Dalton
- 58.7 Total QBR, about the same as the career rate for Carson Palmer
The World’s Largest Race and Sportbook have updated their Monday Night Football Propositions from CenturyLink Field tonight:
Monday Night Football Game Props: Falcons at Seahawks