Further Review

Steve Hummer's Further Review blog offers comments, asides and quick hits on the state of sports

"Quinn Effect" felt in both Atlanta, Seattle

The Dan Quinn Effect is so powerful, so pervasive that it stretches across three time zones.

Think not only about what his addition to the Falcons has meant, but also how his subtraction may slowly be undermining the place he left.

Seattle’s defense remains one of the better units in the NFL. Emphasize the phrase, “one of the better defenses.” Last season, with Quinn the overseer, it was the best.

Of course, roster changes and the strength of schedules make comparison a risky exercise. Still, a trend is clear. The defense in Seattle is a tick worse than a year ago; and the Falcons’ is a tick better (it could not possibly regress). The common thread – Quinn’s change of address.

This is particularly noteworthy following a Sunday in which the Falcons won in overtime on an interception return (their sixth of the season). And in a footnote to Seattle’s loss to Cincinnati, the vaunted Seahawks secondary finally got its first interception of the season. A certain opportunism seems to follow this coach wherever he goes.

At one extreme last season, the Seahawks led the NFL in fewest yards allowed (267.1 per game). Giving up 40 yards more a game so far this season, they currently rank fifth.

At the other, were the Falcons, a dead-last 32nd a year ago (398.3). A slight improvement – 366.4 per game – has bumped their ranking up 12 places. The team leads the league in rushing defense.

The most important numbers, of course, live in the standings. That’s where you’ll find the 5-0 Falcons enjoying a three-game lead over the Super Bowl runner-up/possible NFC playoff foe come January. If a postseason Falcons-Seahawks matchup happens, Quinn gladly would yield the frequent flyer miles to his old team.

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About the Author

Steve Hummer writes sports features for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He covers a wide range of sports and topics.