Run defense could doom Falcons

Inability to stop the run and an inconsistent O-line are worries for Atlanta

Originally Published: January 11, 2013
By Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.
Jacquizz RodgersDaniel Shirey/US PresswireThe Atlanta Falcons must hit some big running plays against the Seattle Seahawks.

Due to their well-documented recent playoff failures, no team has more pressure on it this weekend than the No. 1-seeded Atlanta Falcons. The good news is that if they keep winning, they will play their final three games in a dome, which is ideal for their high-flying passing game. However, they play a Seattle Seahawks team on Sunday that has confidence and is the hottest team in the playoffs right now.

We know about all the good things the Falcons have done in 2012, but I went to the film room this week to look at some of the potential weaknesses that could stop the Falcons' playoff run against the Seahawks on Sunday.

Play a nickel defense or base 4-3?

This is a dilemma for Atlanta's coaches because they like their big nickel defense (3-3-5 alignment) -- it's a scheme that they wanted to play most of the time in 2012 before cornerback Brent Grimes went down with an injury, but will it work against Seattle?

Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.