ATLANTA - When Atlanta lost to the Carolina Panthers two weeks ago, the Falcons were sitting at. 500 with many thinking their season was spiraling out of control.
Needing a win, but playing a Cowboys team that was fresh off a 28-17 victory against the Chiefs, the Falcons stepped up and dominated Dallas, 27-7.
Fresh off a strong victory, Atlanta (5-4) will need to carry that same momentum as they travel 2,600-plus miles for a tough road trip against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field Monday night.
Our LIVE Team 2 Coverage from CenturyLink Field begins at 8 p.m. Channel 2 Sports Director Zach Klein joins Channel 2's Justin Farmer and Jovita Moore to get you ready for the big game. Then stick around and watch the Falcons-Seahawks game LIVE on Channel 2.
In what will be a cold game filled with rowdy fans -- better known as the 12th Man -- the Falcons will have to find a way to secure another victory.
The Falcons will be without running back Devonta Freeman, who suffered a huge blow to the head from Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens.
With Freeman’s second concussion of the season, Tevin Coleman will get the start as the main running back.
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Considering Coleman’s performance last week against the Cowboys -- 83 yards on 20 carries and one touchdown -- we could potentially see another solid week of production with the Seahawks dealing with major injuries on defense.
Seattle (6-3) will be without cornerback Richard Sherman, who ruptured his Achilles tendon, strong safety Kam Chancellor and linebacker Michael Wilhoite.
Defensive tackle Jarran Reed is questionable for Monday night's game. The Seahawks, however, are expected to get free safety Earl Thomas back.
The Seahawks will have to find someone to cover Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, someone quarterback Matt Ryan hopes to connect with during the game.
In the last meeting between the two teams in the NFC Divisional Playoff game, Jones finished with six receptions for 67 yards and one touchdown in a Falcons victory.
In the 2017 regular season matchup, Jones has seven catches for 139 yards and a touchdown.
The prime-time game coverage of "Monday Night Football" on Channel 2 will pre-empt ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Good Doctor.”
If Coleman has success running the ball against Seattle’s defensive front, the passing game should open up for the Falcons, allowing Ryan to make plays and more importantly, connect with Jones in the game.
The Falcons must have a solid all-around game defensively as well.
Atlanta will enter Monday night’s game ranked sixth in total defense (giving up 312 yards per game), 18th in rush defense (giving up 114 yards per game) and fourth in pass defense (giving up 198 yards per game).
Those numbers will be put to the test in stopping Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his favorite targets like Doug Baldwin, Paul Richardson and Jimmy Graham, to name a few.
2016 Result/Highlights: The Falcons got off to a slow start, trailing 17-3 at halftime on the road. By the end of the third quarter, Atlanta secured the lead behind Ryan’s three touchdown passes. The Seahawks, however, then responded with a touchdown and a field goal in the fourth quarter to beat the Falcons, 26-24.
2017 NFC Divisional Playoff Results/ Highlights: Wilson connected with Graham for the first touchdown of the game. Ryan, then, tossed a touchdown pass to Jones to put the Falcons on the scoreboard. Following a field goal by the Seahawks in the second quarter, Atlanta controlled the remainder of the first half and second half as the Falcons defeated the Seahawks, 36-20. Ryan threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns. Coleman and Freeman combined for 102 yards on the ground, and the Falcons’ defense forced Wilson into throwing two interceptions.
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