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Cyber surfing: Sunday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Oct. 2:

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks – and their fans – will find out who they are in today’s game against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLinkField. Offers O’Neil: “If you think these Seahawks have a shot to rebound from their 0-2 start, this is precisely the kind of game they just might be able to win. If you think this season is going to be a four-month swirlie in the league toilet, you’re also pretty certain Atlanta is going to spend Sunday afternoon dragging the Seahawks around CenturyLink Field.”

He’s also got his keys to the game for both teams. No. 1 for the Seahawks: “Pressure the Passer. The Falcons allowed 23 sacks all of last season, third-fewest in the NFL. They’ve given up 13 in three games, third-most. Seattle had three sacks against Arizona, and defensive Chris Clemons is heating up, with two sacks in the last two games. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has been rattled by the pressure so the Seahawks must heat up Atlanta’s pocket.”

Speaking of Clemons, John Boyle of the Everett Herald looks at the player who led the Seahawks in sacks last season and is doing it again this season. Says Boyle: “After playing at less than full strength because of an ankle injury in the first two weeks, Clemons was back and as disruptive as ever last weekend, coming up with one sack while creating another and making several other big plays that helped lead Seattle to its first victory this season. After not making a huge impact in the first two games, Clemons was the most disruptive player on the field last weekend, and it’s hardly a coincidence that it was also the best performance of the season for the defense.”

Eric Williams at the New Tribunes says to expect more blitzing from the Seahawks, who turned up the heat in last week’s win over the Cardinals. Says Williams: “Turn up the heat. Bring pressure. That’s what the Seattle Seahawks have in store this afternoon at CenturyLink Field when they are on defense against the potent attack of the Atlanta Falcons. After two games of pretty standard looks, Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley used more exotic blitz schemes in Seattle’s 13-10 win over Arizona, which caused some confusion for quarterback Kevin Kolb.”

Also at the News Tribune, Dave Boling says the Seahawks’ roster turnover moved into high gear after last season’s Week 15 loss to the Falcons. Offers Boling: “Only five regular-season games have intervened since their last visit, but the Atlanta Falcons who visit CenturyLink Field will not recognize the Seattle Seahawks they face today. For Seahawks fans, that’s probably a good thing. It was Dec. 19, 2010 when the Falcons came in and dumped the struggling Seahawks 34-18 in a game that convincingly proved the need for a vast remodeling of the roster. Ten Seattle starters (average age 30.4) from that day are gone, and their replacements (average age 25.2) contribute to the youth movement that gives the Seahawks the youngest starting 22 in the NFL.”

Christian Caple at PI.com has five things to watch in today’s game. No. 1 on his list follows a theme: “Think the Seahawks are concerned about their offensive line? They are. But the Falcons have just as much reason to be worried about protecting their quarterback on Sunday. Atlanta hasn’t done much to keep Matt Ryan upright so far this season, allowing 13 sacks in three games. That’s alarming for a team that surrendered only 23 sacks all of last year. Add to that the fact that Seattle’s defensive front has been the strength of its team this season – the Seahawks sacked Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb three times and knocked him down several more – and this could be an area the Seahawks could exploit on Sunday.”

Mike Sando at ESPN.com has a look at the snap counts for each of the Seahawks’ receivers. At the top of the list is tight end Zach Miller. But the surprise is that rookie free agent Doug Baldwin is at No. 5. Says Sando: “Baldwin, whose 55-yard scoring reception in the opener helped Seattle rally against San Francisco, is taking snaps at the expense of (Golden) Tate. He’s becoming the third receiver, basically. Sidney’s Rice’s debut accounts for the drop in Ben Obomanu’s playing time. Baldwin appears ideally suited for the slot. Tate, less so.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we also examine the Seahawks’ pass rush and how it could make for a long afternoon for Ryan: “The Seahawks should have three things working in their favor in that matchup: The noise generated by the 12th MAN at CenturyLink Field, and the advantage it gives rush-ends Chris Clemons and Raheem Brock when the Seahawks go to their nickel and dime packages in passing situations. ‘It’s definitely an advantage,’ Brock said. ‘The atmosphere at the stadium is just unbelievable. When the offense can’t communicate and the offensive line has to get off on my first step or Clemons’ first step, it’s a great advantage for us.’ ”

We also preview the game in words and video.

John Czarnecki at FoxSports.com previews today’s games around the league. His take on the Seahawks-Falcons matchup, with an eye to last year’s game: “The Falcons used three turnovers to score 17 unanswered points in the second half to win here last December, 34-18. ‘I was looking at the summary that I write up after the games, I looked back at our notes after we played them and we talked about what a dogfight that it was, especially inside,’ (offensive coordinator Mike) Mularkey said. ‘They were pretty stout up front. The score was not indicative of how much of a battle it was to move the ball on them.’ ”


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