Note in regards to SoS Argument

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Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:05 am
  • First off, thanks for being fairly classy from what I've glossed over poring the forums. Big difference from the Aints fans we're used to, in that there's actual football discussion going on over here. About myself - I'm a young gun at 20, became a Falcon fan in 1997 because of my uncle, and I've only been a legitimate football fan since 2000, but I've bled the red and black ever since I watched Vick in 2001...naturally, that's a bit of a sore subject now, as it is with most Falcon fans. I've also always had a soft spot for two other teams in the NFL, those two being the Texans (lovable losers, cool uniforms, impressive what they've done in recent seasons) and the Seahawks (mainly for Shaun Alexander and the cool uniforms). Of course, I've grown up since then, and can form opinions that aren't based off of the uniform a team wears. The Seahawks are the media darlings now, and that's quite a difference from years past - congrats, you guys have earned it.

    Now, back to the thread's intention - addressing the argument about strength of schedule. I could just make the same point that's been made by others, about how the 2005 Seahawks are comparable to the 2012 Falcons in terms of respect, but that's an eyeball test, and as such, I'm sure won't be respected a heck of a lot.

    However, in our defense, while the strength of defensive opponents being last in the NFL looks bad on the surface, a large portion of that can also be attributed to the strength of offenses in our division. We have the 3rd, 7th, 13th and 18th ranked offenses in terms of points scored, and the 2nd, 8th, 9th and 12th ranked offenses in terms of yardage in the NFC South. When you factor in the fact that we're constantly playing each other as well as having 8 other common opponents in the AFC West and NFC East, it's no surprise that our entire division has an easy SoS when it comes to strength of defensive opponents.

    In a way, it's like poking fun at the NFC West offenses for having the 9th, 11th, 25th and 31st ranked offenses in scoring and the 11th, 17th, 23rd, and 32nd ranked offenses in yardage. Sure, it makes them look mediocre to bad as a division when it comes to offense, but it's also due to playing better defenses in the NFC West. I've seen that very argument made right here on these boards. It's a large part of why your strength of schedule is considered tougher, as well.

    Our defense has already been shown to be 5th in points scored against, with the 10th ranked SoS, so I won't beat that dead horse. They're underrated by pretty much everyone, but it's interesting to see some of the folks on your boards giving props to us. The difference between our defenses isn't nearly as cut and dry as one would believe. Yours is #1 in points scored against with the 15th ranked SoS. Obviously fantastic, so I won't talk much more on that either.

    As another note, in regards to our offense, the fact is, stats are very easily skewed. For example, while the bridge between our offenses doesn't appear to be that great, with Atlanta having a slight to decent advantage (7th in points scored, 8th in yardage) over Seattle (9th in points scored, 17th in yardage), there's something to be said for consistency over inflation. Don't take this the wrong way - as I've stated, I like the Seahawks and keep up with them a decent bit - but your average points scored has been inflated tremendously, whereas the Falcons tend to like keeping the score around 30ish.

    To illustrate this, the Falcons were only held under 20 points twice in the year - once against Dallas (19 points), and once in the meaningless last game of the year against the Bucs (17 points). With Dallas, we were playing in a tough environment and had constant failure in the red zone, whereas with the Bucs, we were obviously screwing around with plays, almost treating it like a preseason game, except with the starters in. On one occasion, we ran three screen plays in a row. I sh*t you not. It was testing things out, a very vanilla gameplan besides the fact, since it wasn't trick plays we were running - it was just stuff we wanted to practice.

    On the other hand, the Seahawks were held under 20 points SIX times in the year. It did come earlier in the year, so the argument could be made that the Seahawks "clicked" and put it together along the stretch. While I think that's largely true, especially due to Russel Wilson's play, I think it also bears thinking that the stretch was also against their toughest opponents, which could have easily been the cause of the lower point output.

    It should also be mentioned that the Seahawks average points per game is inflated by three games down the stretch with 42 or more points. This might be because Carroll likes to kick the weaker teams when they're down - seriously, he only runs up the score on the weaker opponents in the NFL. Conversely, the Seahawks only scored 30 or more points once besides those blowouts.

    The Falcons, on the other hand, never scored over 42, despite outscoring their opponents in the first half by roughly 70 points over the season. The Falcons did, however, score 30 or more points five times on the season, and scored 27 three times as well.

    This is not to take away from all the good the Seahawks have done - rather, just to provide an opposing fan's perspective, and maybe get some good feedback as well. Can't wait for the game on Sunday...good luck to both teams. Just...a bit more luck to ours. ;)
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:08 am
  • Good write up and thanks.

    And welcome aboard.

    At least both teams will be playing on an actual NFL caliber field.

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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:09 am
  • Good luck on Sunday, you'll need it :) j/k

    Here is to a good, hardhitting game come Sunday. Should be a barnburner!
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:30 am
  • I appreciate the write up but have to refute the "running up the score" argument. Pete never ran up the score. Ever. And its such a BS term to begin with.

    There are two example people cite when they say he ran up the score. The 4th and 23. And the Fake Punt. I will explain both.

    The 4th and 23 came in the 4th Qtr when out entire first string on both sides of the ball were taken out. People have been screaming, that having Flynn throw it was trying to run up the score. Thats ludicrous. Firstly, any team going for it on 4th and 23 has about a 2% chance of success. Therefor, stopping the down would give AZ the ball closer to midfield then if we would have punted it. Second, the clock stop regardless on an incomplete, turnover of downs, punt. So to pretend that throwing kept the game going longer is also ridiculous. Throwing the ball right there did two things. Gave Flynn another ingame throw that he needs. And it gave the AZ team the ball with better field position then if we punted.

    The fake punt was an automatic call that our special teams had already had on since the start of the game. If the special teams saw a certain coverage, they were to automatically check into the fake punt. And well, it worked flawlessly. So you know why it was an auto audible. Pete did come out afterward and say that it wasnt even on his mind at that time and he should have called it off in the middle of the game, but wasnt thinking about it. The fact that the Special teams did what they were suppose to without the coaches is awesome. Was it needed, no. But it wasnt pete trying to run up the score.

    Also, the bulk of play calling in the second half of all those games was run, run, run. With a pass coming only on 3rd and longs.

    And Lastly, the bulk of those points for all 3 games came in the first half. These are all professional big boys being payed millions of dollars. Its not seattles fault the teams ended up quitting on themselves.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:33 am
  • Listen, Atlanta can only line up and play the teams in front of them. You won't see me arguing with you about Strength of Schedule weaknesses. It is more of a battle tested argument that tips the scales in the Hawks favor. I would imagine you would feel even more confident if your team had beaten teams with a stronger collective record....just to get them ready for the playoffs. As it is, you're just not quite sure what to expect with you're team on Sunday. Am I right?

    The last part I will mention is the way off perception that Carroll only runs up the score on weaker teams in the NFL. Well, I guess this might concern you on Sunday huh? That you're team just might get it's butt kicked and get embarrassed? Well, don't worry. If the Seahawks need to pull back the throttle, we do so. 2nd and 3rd string guys come in. Problem is, they still execute the offense and defense really well, and your defense still has to show up for every play or we will still score. Carroll can't be accused of running up the score if we do that right? Well my friend, that is exactly how we "Ran up the score" on those other teams this year.......If that is what you want to call it. I call it mercy. Good luck.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:33 am
  • Thanks for the feedback.

    All I wanted to touch on is SF is not a weaker opponent and we beat them 42-13. We're fully capable of playing that game...but with our D, we don't need to. When teams have put up points against us, we have as well...as you can see by our biggest loss margin being 7. PC loves to play the TOP and field position game.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:38 am
  • Nice write up and welcome to .net but you lost me when you said Carrol ran up though score. Everything else you stated is fact and great points to be made. The only argument that can be made is again, the strength of schedule. The NFC West had to play the NFC North and the AFC East while the NFC South played the AFC West and the NFC East.

    For Atlanta, the AFC West was 4, 16, 25, and 28 in terms of points against a game and were 2, 20, 26, 32 in points for. While the NFC East was 12, 22, 24, 29 in points against per game and were 4, 6, 15, 29 in points for.

    In comparison, the Seahawks opponents in the AFC East was 7, 9, 20, 26 in points against a game and 1, 21, 27, 28 in points for. The NFC North was 3, 11, 14, 27 in points against per game and were 5, 14, 16, 17 in points for.

    In a quick glance it looks as if Seattle went head-to-head against better offenses and defenses all year while traveling quite a bit more than Atlanta did.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:43 am
  • If you look closely at the first eight games you realize they were barely opening the playbook on both sides of the ball
    Take the next eight weeks and see a completely different team as the playbook is now open
    They started opening it up in the overtime vs chicago
    Prior to that I was pulling out my hair and calling pete a doucheand thinking our coordinators on both sides of the ball were idiots
    My how things change
    go look at our offensive stats and come back
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:47 am
  • good OP, and very refreshing to see someone so young come in and talk some solid football, well done young man.. points i wanted to touch on have already been addressed, and i don't acknowledge the running up the score BS anymore, who gives a crap about that stuff other than the whiners and deadskins....

    as i've stated before, this game is going to come down to defensive plays, corners against big fast physical recievers and our nickel play, ugghh... but the real battle will be trying to contain Gonzales, god that dude makes me sick.. we will have success running the ball, you guy's will probably not, but you will probably have some success with the check downs to the back and tight ends... you will more than likely struggle with our read option...

    so basically what it boils down to is, both offenses will probably move the ball with some success and put points on the board.. it's going to be up to who's defense makes the most plays, TO , and ST... it also could come down to who has the ball last..
    either way, great team you have, great match up, should be another great game, here's to hoping you guys lose big time..
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:48 am
  • Dallas is anything but a tough environment these days. The new stadium is cavernous, cowboy fans treat it as a social gathering, and field conditions are nearly identical to Atlanta.

    This might be because Carroll likes to kick the weaker teams when they're down - seriously, he only runs up the score on the weaker opponents in the NFL.

    I bet you can come up with a simpler explanation for why we have scored more against the weaker opponents. Think about it.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:54 am
  • I don't care about the SOS argument.

    The playoffs have nothing to do with it.

    In reality, it is........ HOW is the team playing currently?

    Falcons lost 2 out of their last 4, including the last game played, and then had 2 weeks off.

    The Hawks have won 7 of 8, 3 in a row on the road and blowouts of 3 teams in that stretch.

    So, is SOS a part of that?.....No, we are simply playing well at the right time.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:02 am
  • I would never argue the running up the score issue. It's the freakin' NFL. If you can not stop a team, that is your problem. Do your job!

    I can definitely see that your offensive numbers are driven up by a 58-0 win against a 5-11 team and a 50-17 win against a 6-10 team who also allowed 52, 48, 45, 37, & 35 points to other teams this season. However, you did what you should have against those teams and blew them out.

    If you want to take the SoS argument further, you can argue that the NFC South played some of the easiest ranked schedules in football, yet every team in the NFC South finished 3-3 against each other in division play, and was for some reason considered the weakest division in the NFC (every team finished with a winning record outside of division). Compare that to the NFC West where the Rams (7-8-1) finished with the best record in the west at 4-1-1, and the Cardinals the worst at 1-5. Meaning only the Niners and Seahawks finished with a winning record outside of the division. You can see there was a clear cellar dweller for everyone to beat up on.

    Regardless, none of that stuff really matters, and after typing it I feel I wasted a few minutes of time. What matters most will be Sunday at 10:00am PT when our two teams meet.

    This should be one of the best games of the season, and I for one can't wait.

    Rise up Falcons!
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:05 am
  • Largent80 wrote:I don't care about the SOS argument.

    The playoffs have nothing to do with it.

    In reality, it is........ HOW is the team playing currently?

    Falcons lost 2 out of their last 4, including the last game played, and then had 2 weeks off.

    The Hawks have won 7 of 8, 3 in a row on the road and blowouts of 3 teams in that stretch.

    So, is SOS a part of that?.....No, we are simply playing well at the right time.


    We lost 2 of our last 4 yes. But 1 was after we had wrapped up the #1 seed, the other was to a Carolina team (who is a division rival that we always seem to barely beat or lose to) that felt disrespected after we beat them. I am sure you saw all the media clippings that week about Ryan telling them to get the f### off our field (mouthed from the sideline.)

    I would look at the fact that no one outside of our division beat us this season, even in the last month of the season, as a better bullet point.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:08 am
  • Give me the hotter, younger hungrier team with swagger and really no pressure,over the team with all the pressure and no momentum after having a week off any day. I will take it.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:23 am
  • Falcon fans-- thanks for sharing seriously.. this is soooo much better than last week with most of the Redskin fans (KD excluded)..
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:31 am
  • As a Falcon fan, I like this board. Civil for the most part and great discussion as well.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:40 am
  • Barthawk wrote:Falcon fans-- thanks for sharing seriously.. this is soooo much better than last week with most of the Redskin fans (KD excluded)..


    Even our fan base has it's trolls and less intellegent posters. But mostly we just enjoy good football!
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:43 am
  • treefidy wrote:
    Barthawk wrote:Falcon fans-- thanks for sharing seriously.. this is soooo much better than last week with most of the Redskin fans (KD excluded)..


    Even our fan base has it's trolls and less intellegent posters. But mostly we just enjoy good football!


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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:24 am
  • I understand the concern about the use of SOS to justify whether a team has the makeup to go all the way. It was used heavily in '05 against the Seahawks. The Seahawks were under similar scrutiny as the '12 Falcons because of lack of recent playoff victories leading up to '05. It had been a few decades since their last playoff win in '83, similar to the current Smith/Ryan playoff drought of 0-3. I am sure Falcons fans will breath a collective sigh of relief once that monkey has been taken off their backs.

    I expect the Falcons to come out highly motivated to shut up the pundits, the nation, the Seahawks and their fans. I understand and if the Falcons do win, I hope you guys make it to the Superbowl. Just a few more days and this chapter will be closed.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:31 am
  • Thanks for the replies. I suppose I might be seeing it in a different way from most of you, and that's all good, but I did watch the entirety of the games I mentioned I felt they ran up the score. I do think that the win against the Niners was fantastic, especially since I dislike the 49ers for all the beatdowns they put on our team before my time. And I don't underestimate you guys at all. I just think that the game will be significantly closer than most do, and that people who bring up past failures of this team and strength of schedule should have the past brought to bear on them as well.

    For all the people who would disagree if I said the Falcons would win JUST because they beat the Seahawks in 2010 and 2011, some would be the same people saying the Falcons are at a disadvantage because of their past playoff record. I'd be wrong to suggest we'd win because of what happened in past years, just as you'd be wrong to suggest we're the same team as years previous. We added two coordinators with vastly different philosophies. We've beaten every team on our schedule. There isn't much more you can do to prove a point when you're dealt an easy schedule.

    Honestly though, good discussion...I might do a weapons write-up and comparison later to compare Seattle and Atlanta and some of the matchups...in all honesty, I'd say Sherman and Browner are great, but your safeties have been just as impressive this year. Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor are flat out ballers.

    This comment annoyed me, though...

    impacthawk wrote:Listen, Atlanta can only line up and play the teams in front of them. You won't see me arguing with you about Strength of Schedule weaknesses. It is more of a battle tested argument that tips the scales in the Hawks favor. I would imagine you would feel even more confident if your team had beaten teams with a stronger collective record....just to get them ready for the playoffs. As it is, you're just not quite sure what to expect with you're team on Sunday. Am I right?


    No, you're actually very much wrong. The thing I like about this team is that, despite the fact that we're playing down to weaker teams, we're also playing our best games in the spotlight, against the best teams we face. 3-0 against winning teams. 4-0 on prime time. 1 TD and 10 INTs in three games from Brees and the two Mannings. We've allowed the least passing touchdowns of any team in the NFL, and while you can point and say teams can just run on us and that's why, that doesn't explain our 5th ranked defense against better offenses than you faced. Just using the statistics here.

    I'm actually very confident in my team come Sunday. It appears that you are too. We both should be. We both have the hungriest and, imho, best teams in the NFL. We're both built to play GB with our fantastic secondaries, and you obviously handled SF. I think we could beat them as well, albeit maybe not as convincingly. That was one heck of a game.

    So excited for Sunday.

    impacthawk wrote:The last part I will mention is the way off perception that Carroll only runs up the score on weaker teams in the NFL. Well, I guess this might concern you on Sunday huh? That you're team just might get it's butt kicked and get embarrassed? Well, don't worry. If the Seahawks need to pull back the throttle, we do so. 2nd and 3rd string guys come in. Problem is, they still execute the offense and defense really well, and your defense still has to show up for every play or we will still score. Carroll can't be accused of running up the score if we do that right? Well my friend, that is exactly how we "Ran up the score" on those other teams this year.......If that is what you want to call it. I call it mercy. Good luck.


    We score more on better teams. We score more consistently. We score quicker.

    We flat out score, and you can't stop it.

    On the other hand, you've been held to less than 20 points on six occasions, so it's apparent that you can be stopped. Our lowest point output of 17 is still better than five of your games. Yet you think that we're afraid we'll get out butts kicked and embarrassed?

    I'm not going to start spouting off hateful trash, but I'll just say this - you're in for a show on Sunday. Likely one where two great teams battle to the end. But if one team gets handled...it won't be the one that feels disrespected, that's just getting some of its defensive starters back, the one that has everything to prove. I'll be here to eat my crow if I'm wrong.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:58 am
  • i would suggest your making the same mistake every apponent that has faced us, and that's looking at our offensive numbers and using them to come to a conclusion our offense is some how mediocre.... and i'll tell you just like i told all of them, it is not wise to look at those numbers and come to a conclusion...

    our offense was extremely vanilla for the better part of the first half, we relied heavily on the run game and Defense to win the ball games, because Wilson was a rookie and was handcuffed by our coaching staff... if you look at the first half numbers you will see our pass offense was close to last, but at the same time, our pass attempts were probably close to last in the league...

    now it is completely flipped.. you ask anybody on this board, who they have more confidense in , our Offense or our Defense, and i'm pretty sure 95% will say the offense.. i'm not going to get into numbers and stats, all i'm going to say is, if you want to have an accurate judgement of our offense, look at the numbers from the Chicago game on... yes the blow outs helped, but the numbers are consistant and they improved and became more balanced every game since Chicago.. Why? because the coaching staff finally realized they can trust RW and opened the playbook up....

    we are the most complete and balanced team you will face this year..... our offense will show up sunday, but you better hope our defense doesn't ....
    Last edited by hawker84 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:59 am
  • Look guys, we all know that the running up the score thing is BS. I mean, when you start putting in backups early in the 3rd quarter and the other team still can't stop you, what are you supposed to do? Take a knee because you don't want to hurt their feelings even though there's still 25 minutes left in the game?

    When the other team throws it straight to you, what are supposed to do? Are they supposed to not intercept it?

    When they muff a punt, what are you supposed to do? Don't go after the ball?

    You have to play the whole 60 minutes right? Please, someone tell me what the Seahawks (2nd and 3rd stringers) were supposed to do?

    Every time these backups get a chance to get in a game, it's a chance to show what they've got. Many of them are literally playing for their livelihood. They can't just go out there and slack off just because the other team is getting their asses kicked.

    Anyway, whatever, it doesn't matter what the facts are or what anyone says, apparently some people are just going to believe that "Pete Carroll runs up the score" no matter what.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:02 am
  • hawker84 wrote:i would suggest your making the same mistake every apponent that has faced us, and that's looking at our offensive numbers and using them to come to a conclusion our offense is some how mediocre.... and i'll tell you just like i told all of them, it is not wise to look at those numbers and come to a conclusion...

    our offense was extremely vanilla for the better part of the first half, we relied heavily on the run game and Defense to win the ball games, because Wilson was a rookie and was handcuffed by our coaching staff... if you look at the first half numbers you will see our pass offense was close to last, but at the same time, our pass attempts were probably close to last in the league...

    now it is completely flipped.. you ask anybody on this board, who they have more confidense in , our Offense or our Defense, and i'm pretty sure 95% will say the offense.. i'm not going to get into numbers and stats, all i'm going to say is, if you want to have an accurate judgement of our offense, look at the numbers from the Chicago game on... yes the blow outs helped, but the numbers are consistant and they improved and became more balanced every game since Chicago.. Why? because the coaching staff finally realized they can trust RW and opened the playbook up....

    we are the most complete and balanced team you will face this year..... our offense will show up sunday, but you better hope our defense doesn't ....

    I didn't say your offense is mediocre...I said the opposite. I said that defenses make your already potent offense appear less impressive due to the toughness of your division in the defense category. Your offense is great. I don't know where you're getting that I don't think they are. I said that we're a good bit better offensively, and that we score more consistently than you guys. Maybe that's what you're getting at?
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:03 am
  • See you Monday for your crow serving then "Falcan Moore" ...

    Cant wait to make that my signature next week when you get blown out of your own place. Overconfidence... the Redskin fans had it too.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:12 am
  • hidn wrote:See you Monday for your crow serving then "Falcan Moore" ...

    Cant wait to make that my signature next week when you get blown out of your own place. Overconfidence... the Redskin fans had it too.

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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:15 am
  • "On the other hand, you've been held to less than 20 points on six occasions, so it's apparent that you can be stopped. Our lowest point output of 17 is still better than five of your games. Yet you think that we're afraid we'll get out butts kicked and embarrassed"?

    this is what i'm getting at.. we've been held to less than 20 pts 6 times.. how many of those times were in the first half of the season.? how many times were we held to that in the second half of the season.?

    my point is, our offense was weak in the first half, much stronger in the second half.. it would be wise of an apponent to not go by the 1st half stats.
    Last edited by hawker84 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:17 am
  • Falcons are a legit 13-3. No doubt about that.

    They've had a few close ones at home that maybe should've been easier games... but still a legit 13-3.

    It will take a near flawless game from us to win this.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:27 am
  • Falcan Moore wrote:
    hidn wrote:See you Monday for your crow serving then "Falcan Moore" ...

    Cant wait to make that my signature next week when you get blown out of your own place. Overconfidence... the Redskin fans had it too.

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    All I'm saying is, don't be surprised when your coach is doing this again on Sunday, my brutha.

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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:52 am
  • treefidy wrote:I would never argue the running up the score issue. It's the freakin' NFL. If you can not stop a team, that is your problem. Do your job!

    I can definitely see that your offensive numbers are driven up by a 58-0 win against a 5-11 team and a 50-17 win against a 6-10 team who also allowed 52, 48, 45, 37, & 35 points to other teams this season. However, you did what you should have against those teams and blew them out.

    If you want to take the SoS argument further, you can argue that the NFC South played some of the easiest ranked schedules in football, yet every team in the NFC South finished 3-3 against each other in division play, and was for some reason considered the weakest division in the NFC (every team finished with a winning record outside of division). Compare that to the NFC West where the Rams (7-8-1) finished with the best record in the west at 4-1-1, and the Cardinals the worst at 1-5. Meaning only the Niners and Seahawks finished with a winning record outside of the division. You can see there was a clear cellar dweller for everyone to beat up on.

    Regardless, none of that stuff really matters, and after typing it I feel I wasted a few minutes of time. What matters most will be Sunday at 10:00am PT when our two teams meet.

    This should be one of the best games of the season, and I for one can't wait.

    Rise up Falcons!


    You did not waste your time. Welcome to the board. Obviously Falcons fans are going to feel confident in their #1 seed team taking care of business, and we probably aren't going to agree. But almost all Falcons fans have been reasonable, unlike the majority of Redskins fans.

    Certainly the Rams played most of their best football within the division. But it is a credit to them to have played so well against the 49ers and Seahawks. St. Louis did do some good things outside the division, beating the Redskins, and clobbering the Bucs in Tampa the week before you lost to them (which makes the Falcons loss to Tampa more concerning, IMO-that Bucs team was coming into the Georgia Dome dead on arrival if the Rams game, and bad losing streak were any indication).

    The Cardinals became a disaster, once John Skelton and Kevin Kolb were both out injured. When healthy, they beat us, and the Patriots in Foxboro. Really, they were only Skelton or Kolb away from beating the Falcons in the Georgia Dome, to give the NFC West a 4-0 sweep over the NFC East, all in NFC East stadiums.

    I absolutely agree it should be a great game, and a very interesting matchup, since we did not play in the regular season. Cheers!
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:12 am
  • The 2005 Seahawks led the NFL in point differential. This year, Atlanta did not.

    Point differential is highly correlated with future wins, more highly correlated than won/loss record. Seattle has a higher point differential than Atlanta this year against a tougher schedule.

    You can't dismiss blow-outs against easy teams as skewing point differential. Everyone plays the easy teams. Some teams, like Atlanta, play even easier teams. And, research shows, point differential predicts future wins.

    Matchup-wise, why does Seattle win this battle? Because Seattle's secondary neutralizes Atlanta's strength and Seattle's rush offense exploits Atlanta's weakness.

    Nevertheless, no one knows how the ball will bounce. Obviously a 13-3 team has a very legitimate chance of winning the game. But most of the time, they won't. I'd say Seattle wins this game 65% of the times it's played in parallel universes.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:19 am
  • Falcan Moore wrote:Now, back to the thread's intention - addressing the argument about strength of schedule. I could just make the same point that's been made by others, about how the 2005 Seahawks are comparable to the 2012 Falcons in terms of respect, but that's an eyeball test, and as such, I'm sure won't be respected a heck of a lot.

    To illustrate this, the Falcons were only held under 20 points twice in the year - once against Dallas (19 points), and once in the meaningless last game of the year against the Bucs (17 points). With Dallas, we were playing in a tough environment and had constant failure in the red zone, whereas with the Bucs, we were obviously screwing around with plays, almost treating it like a preseason game, except with the starters in. On one occasion, we ran three screen plays in a row. I sh*t you not. It was testing things out, a very vanilla gameplan besides the fact, since it wasn't trick plays we were running - it was just stuff we wanted to practice.

    Can't wait for the game on Sunday...good luck to both teams. Just...a bit more luck to ours. ;)


    :2:

    I'm sure the schedule talk must get pretty old. You can only play the teams on your schedule, and you should not have to apologize for your 13-3 record. We definitely went through the same thing in 2005.

    The only concern I'd have is that the Falcons seemed to often only play just well enough to get the win against a bad team, rather than hammer them like they perhaps should. The 2005 Seahawks had a few games like that too. We barely beat a poor Tennessee team on the road that year, 28-24. But we had a few games where we put the hammer down to show we could do it-the Texans game, the 49ers home game, and the Monday Night humiliation delivered to Philly in the Linc.

    Except for the great performance against the Giants, the part of Atlanta's season I've been able to watch so far (Arizona through the final game), it seems like the Falcons struggle to play with great intensity. I'm sure they'll play inspired in this game, but I think that can maybe be a dangerous habit. Intensity may be a tough thing to have an on-off switch for.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:28 am
  • Falcan Moore wrote:Thanks for the replies. I suppose I might be seeing it in a different way from most of you, and that's all good, but I did watch the entirety of the games I mentioned I felt they ran up the score. I do think that the win against the Niners was fantastic, especially since I dislike the 49ers for all the beatdowns they put on our team before my time. And I don't underestimate you guys at all. I just think that the game will be significantly closer than most do, and that people who bring up past failures of this team and strength of schedule should have the past brought to bear on them as well.

    For all the people who would disagree if I said the Falcons would win JUST because they beat the Seahawks in 2010 and 2011, some would be the same people saying the Falcons are at a disadvantage because of their past playoff record. I'd be wrong to suggest we'd win because of what happened in past years, just as you'd be wrong to suggest we're the same team as years previous. We added two coordinators with vastly different philosophies. We've beaten every team on our schedule. There isn't much more you can do to prove a point when you're dealt an easy schedule.

    Honestly though, good discussion...I might do a weapons write-up and comparison later to compare Seattle and Atlanta and some of the matchups...in all honesty, I'd say Sherman and Browner are great, but your safeties have been just as impressive this year. Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor are flat out ballers.

    This comment annoyed me, though...

    impacthawk wrote:Listen, Atlanta can only line up and play the teams in front of them. You won't see me arguing with you about Strength of Schedule weaknesses. It is more of a battle tested argument that tips the scales in the Hawks favor. I would imagine you would feel even more confident if your team had beaten teams with a stronger collective record....just to get them ready for the playoffs. As it is, you're just not quite sure what to expect with you're team on Sunday. Am I right?


    No, you're actually very much wrong. The thing I like about this team is that, despite the fact that we're playing down to weaker teams, we're also playing our best games in the spotlight, against the best teams we face. 3-0 against winning teams. 4-0 on prime time. 1 TD and 10 INTs in three games from Brees and the two Mannings. We've allowed the least passing touchdowns of any team in the NFL, and while you can point and say teams can just run on us and that's why, that doesn't explain our 5th ranked defense against better offenses than you faced. Just using the statistics here.

    I'm actually very confident in my team come Sunday. It appears that you are too. We both should be. We both have the hungriest and, imho, best teams in the NFL. We're both built to play GB with our fantastic secondaries, and you obviously handled SF. I think we could beat them as well, albeit maybe not as convincingly. That was one heck of a game.

    So excited for Sunday.

    impacthawk wrote:The last part I will mention is the way off perception that Carroll only runs up the score on weaker teams in the NFL. Well, I guess this might concern you on Sunday huh? That you're team just might get it's butt kicked and get embarrassed? Well, don't worry. If the Seahawks need to pull back the throttle, we do so. 2nd and 3rd string guys come in. Problem is, they still execute the offense and defense really well, and your defense still has to show up for every play or we will still score. Carroll can't be accused of running up the score if we do that right? Well my friend, that is exactly how we "Ran up the score" on those other teams this year.......If that is what you want to call it. I call it mercy. Good luck.


    We score more on better teams. We score more consistently. We score quicker.

    We flat out score, and you can't stop it.

    On the other hand, you've been held to less than 20 points on six occasions, so it's apparent that you can be stopped. Our lowest point output of 17 is still better than five of your games. Yet you think that we're afraid we'll get out butts kicked and embarrassed?

    I'm not going to start spouting off hateful trash, but I'll just say this - you're in for a show on Sunday. Likely one where two great teams battle to the end. But if one team gets handled...it won't be the one that feels disrespected, that's just getting some of its defensive starters back, the one that has everything to prove. I'll be here to eat my crow if I'm wrong.

    I mean this respectfully, but your opinion seems to be based on looking at stats.

    How many Seahawk games have you watched from this year?
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:28 am
  • Falcan Moore, good post. Here's some points to consider in looking at the two teams. First, they both averaged the same ppg on offense at 26. Using Football Outsiders DVOA, the Falcons did it against the 32nd ranked schedule in terms of defensive opponents. The Seahawks did it against the 3rd toughest in terms of defensive opponents. The quick strike advantage may go to the Falcons, but they are lacking the ability to grind a defense down with a running game and that's going to really work against them when facing the Seahawks. Seattle's secondary will be stifling without having to worry about run support. It will be great match-up on the outside however! And we could only wish that both Roddy White and Richard Sherman were mic'ed up.

    Using other teams that scored similarly to the Falcons: When Green Bay, San Francisco and Washington do not play the Seahawks they actually average more points per game than Atlanta did. Seattle held them to 12, 13, 13 and 14 points. When you say that Atlanta cannot be stopped on offense I would buy it if they were close to some record setting pace, but given the ease of defenses they played the results are good, but not great. Only two teams actually scored their season average against the Seahawks. The Lions and the Dolphins. Yes, I just puked having to put that in print. Both times were because of a complete lack of defensive focus in the 4th quarter. It's not happening again. In the eight games against .500 or above teams that Seattle played, they held their opponent to an average of 11 points below their normal output. Those teams and the points below their average were, San Francisco (13 points below - twice), New England (12), Green Bay (16), Dallas (17), Chicago (7), Minnesota (4) and Washington (12). This is what I see happening to Atlanta. I believe they will score 14-17 points.

    On defense I believe that the Falcons are very underrated. They have an excellent secondary in terms of pass coverage, I really don't know if they provide much in the way of physical run support. I do know that if Russell Wilson isn't sharper against the Falcons than he was against the Redskins your defense will make him pay. Your linebackers will have their hands full with Beast, Turbin, MRob and Miller. They are all loads to bring down and they will flat wear your guys out. This is the key if you ask me. Are your LBs able to stay physical for 60 minutes? So far the only LBs that have come close are the 49ers in the first game against them. Is the Atlanta D capable of holding Seattle to 17 points? I can't see that happening. I believe that Seattle will put up about their season average, 24-27 points.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:48 pm
  • Scottemojo wrote:I mean this respectfully, but your opinion seems to be based on looking at stats.

    How many Seahawk games have you watched from this year?

    Seven that I remember, I try to watch them whenever I can. Watched them play GB, CAR, SF both times, ARI, MIA and the last Rams game when I figured we would face you or the Skins.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:14 pm
  • But we have the power of Tanzania on our side! This has be way overlooked...it's called "intangibles."
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:36 pm
  • By any metric that accounts for team efficiency while weighing strength of opponent, Seattle comes out far ahead of Atlanta. Seattle is #1 in Football Outsider's efficiency index and #3 in Advanced NFL Stats team efficiency rankings (which do not account for special teams, and Seattle's ST is among the best group in the NFL). In those same rankings, Atlanta places 10th and 7th.

    Atlanta is not a bad team, but they really aren't that much different on paper than they've been for a couple years now. In fact, Atlanta actually scored lower in team efficiency (Football outsiders) in 2012 than they did in 2011 or 2010. They are a solidly above average and highly conventional team that is built to beat ordinary teams. They remind me a ton of Mike Holmgren's Seahawks from 2003-2007, but with a better passing game and less of a rushing attack.

    Problem is, Seattle is not an ordinary team. They are an elite team that is hitting it's stride. Seattle is the NFL's most physical team, and they've generally had their way with finesse teams all season (Matt Stafford's amazing performance in Detroit being the only real exception). Seattle's strengths match up with Atlanta's weaknesses, and Atlanta's strengths (big WRs) are countered by Seattle's strengths (even bigger DBs). Brandon Marshall was the only big WR all season to have a big day against this defense, and that was aided by the Browner suspension and some suspect coverage strategy by Carroll/Bradley.

    Altanta has a great chance to win, mainly because we don't know how much the loss of Chris Clemons will impact Seattle's defense. It could be backbreaking, or it could actually help the pass rush out (more blitzing). We don't know. It's also a 10am game on Pacific time, and Seattle's 2nd cross country trip in a week. We also have a kicker that just got signed off the street and has played in a year. Will Wilson play with nerves like he did in Washington? Will the penalty bug bite Seattle like it has many times this season? I could definitely see Atlanta winning.

    However, I do think that Seattle is clearly the better team, and clearly has the matchup advantage. That's no slouch on Atlanta, they had a 13-3 season. But if they beat Seattle this weekend, it will be the best team they've been in many years. It would be a big way for Matt Ryan to get his first playoff win.
    Last edited by kearly on Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:38 pm
  • Yeah, Falcan Moore; putting in our backup QB 5 minutes into the second half against the Cardinals is running up the score. You clearly don't know what you're talking about in regards to this.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:53 pm
  • RolandDeschain wrote:Yeah, Falcan Moore; putting in our backup QB 5 minutes into the second half against the Cardinals is running up the score. You clearly don't know what you're talking about in regards to this.


    All this shows is that they probably haven't watched many if any games of the Seahawks this year. I know I can't talk too much on the Falcons for that very reason.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:53 pm
  • Since we're talking strength of schedule, check this work out from Sando. I remember in 2005 defending our team saying SOS is flawed because of course we have weaker opponents, because we're dishing out loses! So the work done by Sando excludes head to head games and simply looks at the other 15 games to produce W/L records.

    The results, Atlanta played the easiest opponents whom had a .438 W/L %. Seattle played the 12th hardest scheduled, facing teams with a winning record at .517%.

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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:58 pm
  • CHawks4L wrote:Since we're talking strength of schedule, check this work out from Sando. I remember in 2005 defending our team saying SOS is flawed because of course we have weaker opponents, because we're dishing out loses! So the work done by Sando excludes head to head games and simply looks at the other 15 games to produce W/L records.

    The results, Atlanta played the easiest opponents whom had a .438 W/L %. Seattle played the 12th hardest scheduled, facing teams with a winning record at .517%.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/ ... ther-angle


    Wow, going from last...to last isn't very promising. You play who is on your schedule and I get that, but this weekends game will prove if a tougher SOS prepares you better in battle tested games.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:04 pm
  • my thoughts on the reason Falcons O is going to have more success than what a lot of people are willing to admit

    Hawks pass O's played against:
    1st half:(in order)
    28th 3rd 9th 18th 16th 4th 23rd 2nd
    2nd Half "the hot streak"(in order)
    31st 30th 26th 29th 28th 25th 23rd 18th.

    3 in the top 5, 4 in the top 10, 7 in the top 20, 9 outside the top 20

    Falcons pass D played against:
    1st half:(in order)
    #12, #3, #18, #13, #30, #20, #9, #19,
    2nd Half:(in order)
    #31, #5, #32, #31, #13, #28, #14, #32

    2 in the top 5, 3 in the top 10, 10 inside the top 20, 6 games against D's outside the top 20,

    now while the Hawks passing D is the 6th ranked vs the pass, its something when you look at the passing offenses played against up to this point
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:09 pm
  • keepertd wrote:my thoughts on the reason Falcons O is going to have more success than what a lot of people are willing to admit

    Hawks pass O's played against:
    1st half:(in order)
    28th 3rd 9th 18th 16th 4th 23rd 2nd
    2nd Half "the hot streak"(in order)
    31st 30th 26th 29th 28th 25th 23rd 18th.

    3 in the top 5, 4 in the top 10, 7 in the top 20, 9 outside the top 20

    Falcons pass D played against:
    1st half:(in order)
    #12, #3, #18, #13, #30, #20, #9, #19,
    2nd Half:(in order)
    #31, #5, #32, #31, #13, #28, #14, #32

    2 in the top 5, 3 in the top 10, 10 inside the top 20, 6 games against D's outside the top 20,

    now while the Hawks passing D is the 6th ranked vs the pass, its something when you look at the passing offenses played against up to this point


    What stat are you considering here? Point against, I can tell you know if I look up DVOA defenses this will be flat wrong.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:12 pm
  • What I HATE HATE HATE about stats is that they don't take into account other factors or situations. Stats can be cherry picked for anything you want to support an argument. Factors like drops, length of drives (i.e. field position,) play selection (rush/pass,) injuries, weather conditions (most of the Falcons' games were in a dome,) yada-yada-yada.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:15 pm
  • they must be rankings based on yardage stats... all those passing yards did a lot of good for the Lions didn't they!
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:15 pm
  • BlueTalons wrote:What I HATE HATE HATE about stats is that they don't take into account other factors or situations. Stats can be cherry picked for anything you want to support an argument. Factors like drops, length of drives (i.e. field position,) play selection (rush/pass,) injuries, weather conditions (most of the Falcons' games were in a dome,) yada-yada-yada.


    Ya but then we are stuck just arguing Philosophy. :D
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:19 pm
  • Shock2k wrote:
    keepertd wrote:my thoughts on the reason Falcons O is going to have more success than what a lot of people are willing to admit

    Hawks pass O's played against:
    1st half:(in order)
    28th 3rd 9th 18th 16th 4th 23rd 2nd
    2nd Half "the hot streak"(in order)
    31st 30th 26th 29th 28th 25th 23rd 18th.

    3 in the top 5, 4 in the top 10, 7 in the top 20, 9 outside the top 20

    Falcons pass D played against:
    1st half:(in order)
    #12, #3, #18, #13, #30, #20, #9, #19,
    2nd Half:(in order)
    #31, #5, #32, #31, #13, #28, #14, #32

    2 in the top 5, 3 in the top 10, 10 inside the top 20, 6 games against D's outside the top 20,

    now while the Hawks passing D is the 6th ranked vs the pass, its something when you look at the passing offenses played against up to this point


    What stat are you considering here? Point against, I can tell you know if I look up DVOA defenses this will be flat wrong.


    congrats, i can also go with the stat of throwing td's etc etc, this is strictly ypg
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:22 pm
  • Atlanta's a good team no doubt, they earned that #1 seed and deserve to be a little confident about it. They should be allowed to have some fun with it. They didn't stumble into the playoffs like a drunk into the champagne room by winning a garbage division on the last day of the season (lookin at you washington fans lurking behind the ban-hammer) but without that cushy schedule they're a 10-6 or 11-5 team just like the rest of us above average mortals. My point; they're good, but not great. They aren't a legit scary team like the 86 Bears or something, they're just another team with a winning record. Just like us. Nothing about them besides some unfavorable matchups on offense (Gonzo and Harry Douglass) really concern me.

    If we show up and play our A-Game, we can beat this team. If we underestimate them, they have more than enough tools to roll us. Have to wait and see what happens on Sunday.
    Last edited by CANHawk on Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:22 pm
  • CHawks4L wrote:they must be rankings based on yardage stats... all those passing yards did a lot of good for the Lions didn't they!

    so because the defense was incapable of stopping other teams its the offense fault? look at the games, almost all of the losses they had were one score games, 4 out of 12 losses were larger than one score...
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:33 pm
  • keepertd wrote:my thoughts on the reason Falcons O is going to have more success than what a lot of people are willing to admit

    Hawks pass O's played against:
    1st half:(in order)
    28th 3rd 9th 18th 16th 4th 23rd 2nd
    2nd Half "the hot streak"(in order)
    31st 30th 26th 29th 28th 25th 23rd 18th.

    3 in the top 5, 4 in the top 10, 7 in the top 20, 9 outside the top 20

    Falcons pass D played against:
    1st half:(in order)
    #12, #3, #18, #13, #30, #20, #9, #19,
    2nd Half:(in order)
    #31, #5, #32, #31, #13, #28, #14, #32

    2 in the top 5, 3 in the top 10, 10 inside the top 20, 6 games against D's outside the top 20,

    now while the Hawks passing D is the 6th ranked vs the pass, its something when you look at the passing offenses played against up to this point


    I don't know where you get your numbers, but our last 6 we played:

    Miami: 21st overall, 27th passing, 13th rushing, 19.8/a game against(7th overall)
    Chicago: 5th overall, 8th passing, 8th rushing, 17.3/a game against(3rd overall)
    Arizona: 12th overall, 5th passing, 28th rushing, 22.3/a game against(17th overall)
    Buffalo: 22nd overall, 10th passing, 21st rushing, 27.2/a game against(26th overall)
    San Fran: 3rd overall, 4th passing, 4th rushing, 17.1/a game against(2nd overall)
    St. Louis: 14th overall, 15th passing, 15th rushing, 21.8/a game against(14th overall)
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Re: Note in regards to SoS Argument
Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:13 pm
  • but, its not about the NFC wests strength its about who they played outside the division, pretty sure everyone will agree when it comes to division rivals anything can happen regardless (rams/niners hawks/cards/rams)

    its a fact the NFC west has played higher caliber teams outside their division but what that means who knows? I think it would be safe to say the NFC west is used to playing and beating tougher teams, if that doesn't mean anything then it deosnt mean anything..

    the rest are just stats... ;)
    GO HAWKS!!!
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