When: Sunday, 1:05 p.m., Qwest Field
Records: Seahawks 6-7 and tied for first in the NFC West; Falcons 11-2 and first in the NFC South
TV: KCPQ/13, with Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan
Radio: 97.3 FM and 710 ESPN, with Steve Raible, Warren Moon and Jen Mueller
The Seahawks defense vs. Falcons RB Michael Turner: If his size (247 pounds) doesn’t get to you, his speed will (4.49 seconds for 40 yards at the NFL combine in 2004). Miss a tackle on Turner and he’s gone. That’s why he has seven 100-yard rushing efforts this season, including three in the past four games. That’s why he has eight runs of 20-plus yards. That’s why he has 11 rushing touchdowns, including six in the past four games. That’s why the Falcons have averaged 152.3 rushing yards in their games against the other three NFC West teams. That’s why the Seahawks will need to get to Turner quickly and not let him slip away.
One to watch
Seahawks LT Russell Okung vs. Falcons DE John Abraham: The Seahawks’ first-round draft choice has not faced a pass-rusher like Abraham since Week 6, when Okung did an admirable job against the Chicago Bears’ Julius Peppers. Abraham is on a roll. He collected two sacks in last week’s win over the Panthers in Carolina, giving him 11 for the season and making him the 25th player in NFL history to reach 100 for his career. Matt Hasselbeck is going to need time to get the Seahawks’ passing game in rhythm, so Okung will have to contain Abraham – and if he can do it without needing help, all the better.
Fun to watch
Seahawks KOR/PR Leon Washington vs. Falcons KOR/PR Eric Weems: Washington is averaging 27.8 yards on kickoff returns, which ranks fifth in the league. Weems is at 28.0, which ranks third. Washington is averaging 18.1 yards on punt returns, which would lead the league if he had enough attempts. Weems is at 11.4, which would rank among the Top 10 if he had enough attempts. Washington has three scoring returns on kickoffs, to lead the league. Weems also has scored on with a kickoff return. The Seahawks will need a big return – or two – and can’t afford to give up any.
One tough task
Matt Ryan vs. the situation: The Falcons’ third-year QB never has played at Qwest Field, where the din generated by the rowdy crowd has rattled more experienced passers. Ryan also has thrown three of his eight interceptions in the past two games, the first snapping a string of 181 attempts without a pick. Then there’s the double intangible of making the team’s longest road trip the week before the much-anticipated rematch with the New Orleans Saints next Monday night in Atlanta. The Falcons have said all the right things this week about not overlooking the Seahawks. Now, they need to go out and do it.
The Falcons’ run defense ranked sixth in the league two weeks ago, but they’re now No. 13 after surrendering 151 yards to the Buccaneers and 212 yards to the Panthers. … The Falcons also yielded two 100-yard rushers in their first 11 games, but allowed two in the past two weeks – the Panthers’ Jonathan Stewart (133) and the Bucs’ LeGarrette Blount (103). … Seahawks leading receiver Mike Williams is expected to play after being limited to one series in the past three games because of injuries to his left foot and ankle. … Falcons WR Roddy White leads the NFL in receptions (99), receiving yards (1,219) and third-down catches (28). … Fifteen of the Seahawks’ 20 takeaways have come in their six wins. … MLB Curtis Lofton leads the Falcons in tackles (122), while linebacker David Hawthorne leads the Seahawks (85). … DE Chris Clemons has 10 sacks, making him the first Seahawk to hit double digits since former Falcon Patrick Kerney led the NFC with 14½ in 2007.