1. The no-spin zone: A group of about 20 players from the Falcons and the Seahawks made a trip to Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Tuesday near Lakewood, Wash.
“Really, it was just a chance to show appreciation,” Falcons linebacker Lorenzo Carter said. “They were appreciative that we took time out of our day to come. For us, it was an easy choice to come out here and hang out with them.”
The NFL players stood next to enlistees as they were read into the Army aboard a C-17 aircraft carrier.
They later signed autographs and took part in some military exercises.
“They showed us some pretty cool stuff,” Carter said.
Cornerback Mike Ford and running back Avery Williams climbed aboard an Apache helicopter and enjoyed themselves inside the cockpit.
“We saw some things that you typically don’t see,” Ford said. “Throwing one of them grenades was one of my favorite things I got to do today.”
2. Elijah Wilkinson holding up: Falcons coach Arthur Smith thought left guard Elijah Wilkinson, a former tackle, played well against the Rams. He beat out Jalen Mayfield for the position.
“Elijah has handled that transition really well,” Smith said. “I thought (Sunday) was his best game. It was a heck of a challenge. You get matched up, they moved (Aaron) Donald to a lot of spots, which we anticipated. ... Our guys handled it; they adapted.”
Mayfield is on injured reserve and may have a hard time unseating Wilkinson upon his return.
3. Vegas on this matchup: The Seahawks also are rebuilding, and the over/under for wins this season was placed at 5.5 by vegasinsider.com. That is one game ahead of the Falcons and the Texans at 4.5.
4. Geno Smith update: The Seahawks won their season opener over Russell Wilson and the Broncos, but they were pummeled 27-7 by the 49ers on the road Sunday.
Geno Smith, a second-round pick by the Jets in 2013, is the new quarterback. He’s 14-22 as an NFL starter.
Smith, who was out of football in 2019, beat out Drew Lock, whom the Seahawks acquired in the Wilson trade.
“When I was in Tennessee, we went against him when he was with the Jets,” Arthur Smith said Monday. “We’ve had a couple of games to watch him now, what he’s doing in Seattle’s offense, how they’re handling their personnel.”
5. Rookie tackles: With a young offensive line, the Seahawks have not scored a touchdown over their past six quarters.
The Seahawks are starting two rookie offensive tackles. Charles Cross, who was taken right after the Falcons selected Drake London with the eighth overall pick, is the left tackle. Cross played at Mississippi State.
Abraham Lucas, who was drafted in the third round from Washington State, is the right tackle.
With the rookies, the Seahawks have relied on Smith to complete a lot of short passes and have not thrown down the field much to wide receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
“I think Shane Waldron has done a really good job, their offensive coordinator,” Smith said. “They’ve got a lot of really good skill personnel, at tight end, they like to use all three of those tight ends, (Will) Dissly, (Noah) Fant and Colby Parkinson. At the receivers, Metcalf and Lockett, they’re as good of a one-two punch as anybody in the (NFL).”
6. A.J. Terrell on the receivers: Metcalf and Lockett both are former Pro Bowlers.
“Great corps,” Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell said. “Good quarterback. Good receivers. Just got to watch film and get all of the details down on them. DK is a great receiver. Lockett has been doing his thing, too.”
7. No more ‘Legion of Boom’: The Seattle defense also is being rebuilt. Safety Jamal Adams, whom the Seahawks made the highest paid at the position after getting him from the Jets, likely is out for the season with a quadriceps/knee injury.
The unit played Denver with a lot of spirit. They forced two fumbles at the 1-yard line and benefited from rookie coach Nathaniel Hackett going for a 64-yard field goal.
The Broncos amassed 433 yards in the game.
“Well, you see the speed and attention that they try to do to disrupt the football, and I know that’s been a big point of emphasis for them, getting turnovers,” Smith said. “It’s a completely new front from the first iteration from when Pete (Carroll) got there and part of that staff, Gus Bradley, Dan Quinn, Jerry Gray, those guys were there early, and they were running so much of that Cover-3, and they had so much success.
“A lot of those guys got jobs at other places, and it was kind of a trend. Now you’ve seen them kind of reshape, a lot more five-down fronts, a little more 3-4 base. (Current defensive coordinator) Clint Hurtt is a different play-caller.”
The Seahawks are varying their coverages more in the secondary.
“It’s changed, but you still see Pete’s emphasis, the way that they attack the football, ball disruption, team speed, all of that stuff is showing up,” Smith said.
Credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times
Credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times
8. Series history: The Seahawks lead the regular-season series 12-6. The teams have met four times in the playoffs, with a 2-2 mark.
9. Depth chart: With running back Damien Williams placed on injured reserve, rookie Tyler Allgeier was moved up to the No. 2 spot on the official depth chart released by the Falcons on Tuesday.
“Tyler Allgeier, he had 10 carries (Sunday at the Rams),” Smith said. “I thought he ran well, and he’s becoming very dependable in protection.”
Here’s a look at the depth chart:
QB – Marcus Mariota, Desmond Ridder
RB – Cordarrelle Patterson, Tyler Allgeier, Avery Williams
FB – Keith Smith
WR – Drake London, Bryan Edwards, Jared Bernhardt
TE – Kyle Pitts, Parker Hesse, Anthony Firkser, Feleipe Franks
D. Orlando Ledbetter, Esq is the award-winning Atlanta Falcons beat writer for the newspaper, has been on the staff since 2003. Every day D. Orlando strives to provide inside in the Falcons and the NFL. He finds the most joy in providing insight into the team, the coaching moves, the offseason business moves, the draft and the games.