Coming off of their bye week, the Seahawks (3-1) return to CenturyLink Field this Sunday, October 16 for a Week 6 game against the NFC South-leading Atlanta Falcons (4-1), with kickoff set for 1:25 p.m. PT and live television coverage on FOX (channel 13 in Seattle).
The matchup marks the 16th all-time meeting between the two teams, including postseason play, with the Seahawks owning a 9-6 edge. Seattle won the last meeting, 33-10, in November 2013 at Atlanta, a game that came less than a year after the Falcons bounced the Seahawks from the 2012 NFC playoffs in the divisional round.
Here's a look around the web at which side local and national analysts are predicting to win this weekend:
Sheil Kapadia at ESPN.com likes the Seahawks to win 30-20, "Much of the focus will be on how the Seahawks' defense matches up with the Falcons' offense. But Seattle should have a decided edge against the Falcons' defense. Russell Wilson has thrown four touchdowns and no interceptions in his past two games and is healthy enough to use his legs again following rest and treatment during the bye week. Jimmy Graham has 213 receiving yards in his past two games, and Doug Baldwin has been phenomenal going back to last season. The Seahawks should also be getting a healthy Tyler Lockett (knee) back. Those weapons against a Falcons passing defense that has allowed 14 touchdowns (tied for most in the NFL) should be a mismatch that works in the Seahawks' favor."
Vaughn McClure at ESPN.com gives the advantage to Seattle and the 12s, predicting a 28-24 Seahawks win, "As much as it makes sense to go with the Falcons, who average 35 points per game, the Seahawks (allowing just 13.5 points per game) will be extremely tough at home and have an atmosphere capable of throwing Atlanta off its game with pre-snap penalties."
Elliot Harrison at NFL.com picks Seattle to win 28-20, "Falcons fans are going to be rather upset with this friendly writer, but the Seahawks are winning this game at home. Going back to back on the road in Denver then Seattle would be hard for the 2007Patriots or the 1972 Dolphins, much less this 2016 Atlanta team. ... The key for the Seahawks is the return of first-round pick Germain Ifedi. The previously injured guard got his first taste of NFL action against the Jets, and the much-maligned Seattle O-line provided Russell Wilson ample time against a Jetsdefensive front that is much more talented than Atlanta's group. Couple that with the home crowd, and the Seahawks prevail."
Chris Burke at SI.com sees Seattle winning a close one, 21-20, "Atlanta is now an impressive 3–0 on the road this season, its latest victory coming over the defending champion Broncos. The Matt Ryan-led offense is attacking defenses in a variety of ways, from Julio Jones's dominance to Tevin Coleman as a pass-catcher. This matchup is arguably the toughest the Falcons will face the rest of the season. Seattle has the athleticism at linebacker to succeed where Denver failed in covering Coleman across the middle, and with Russell Wilson healthy again it certainly brings more to the table on offense than Denver did behind Paxton Lynch. The weather could play to Seattle's advantage, as well, with rain and high winds expected Sunday. Tough conditions for a pass-happy Atlanta offense."
Pete Prisco at CBSSports.com has Seattle winning by double digits, 27-14, "This is a brutal second consecutive road game for the Falcons. They won at Denver, but now face a Seattle team coming off a bye. That's a bad combination. The Falcons' defense looked much better last week, but can they do it two weeks in a row? I don't think so. Seattle takes it."
Get to know the faces of the Atlanta Falcons' offensive and defensive units heading into the team's Week 6 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.
Michael David Smith at ProFootballTalk.com thinks the Seahawks win 17-14, "The Falcons have played some great football this season, but I love the way the Seahawks' defense matches up with Matt Ryan, who I'm expecting will have his worst game of the season on Sunday."
Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com also picks the Seahawks to win by three, 27-24, "Few expected the Falcons to beat the Panthers. Fewer expected the Falcons to beat the Broncos. No one expects the Falcons to beat the Seahawks. If they do, pencil them in for Houston in February."
Peter Schrager at FOXSports.com has Atlanta winning 24-20, "Going into Seattle is never easy, but if any offense is up for the challenge, it has to be this Atlanta one. Kyle Shanahan is pressing all the right buttons, and it's not just the Julio Jones Show. The running back tandem of Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman is my No. 1 in the league, the complementary pieces at receiver like Aldrick Robinson and Mohamed Sanu are holding their own, and the offensive line is playing its best in years. And the defense. Yes, there's a defense in Atlanta. Winning in Seattle is a tall task. But this unit went into Denver and won last week. Rookie QB or not, that was no small deal. The Panthers were kind of this team last year, early on, too, before beating Seattle in its building in Week 6. I think Atlanta is that squad this season. Rise up!"
Danny O'Neil at 710Sports.com thinks the Seahawks offense will outmatch Atlanta's defense and win 23-17, "The Falcons have yet to score fewer than 24 points in a game this season while the Seahawks have yet to allow more than 18. The Falcons have gained the most yards in the league, the Seahawks have allowed the fewest. But in what appears to be a test of strengths, it might be the Falcons' weakness on defense that proves their undoing."
Four writers at the Seattle Times are picking the Seahawks to win, including beat reporter Bob Condotta, who sees a 27-24 Seattle win and writes, "Atlanta will move the ball more than expected. But Atlanta, playing a second consecutive road game and fourth in five weeks, will fade late with a healthier Russell Wilson again leading a fourth-quarter drive."
Eight of nine experts at ESPN.com pick the Seahawks to win.
Six of eight analysts at CBSSports.com take the Seahawks over the Falcons.
And all five pickers at USA Today like the Seahawks to win.
The Seahawks and Falcons have battled 16 times, including playoffs, since 1976, with Seattle owning 10 victories. The two teams meet again this Saturday in the Divisional Round of the playoffs at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.