Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn is not interested in any homecoming party.
But with the team practicing in the city where Quinn was the celebrated defensive coordinator, he knows he’ll have to address the green and blue elephant in the room.
The streaking Falcons (4-1) will put their four-game winning streak on the line against the Seattle Seahawks (3-1) at 4:25 p.m. Sunday at rowdy CenturyLink Field.
The Seahawks, who are six point favorites, have posted victories over Dolphins, 49ers and the Jets. Those teams have a combined record of 3-12. Seattle’s loss was to the Los Angeles Rams.
Plenty of what Quinn has the Falcons doing, the loud music at practice, the basketball court in the meeting room and the emphasis on raw competition, was derived from Seattle coach Pete Carroll.
“You’d be crazy not to learn a ton from Pete,” Quinn said. “He had a huge impact on me as a coach in a lot of ways.”
Quinn stressed that he’s uncomfortable talking about himself, but that can’t be avoided this week. He’d prefer all of the focus would be on his players.
“I learned a great deal,” Quinn said. “I’ve got a lot of gratitude for the front office men there, coaches there, players there. They are a big reason why I get to wear the Falcons logo every day because of a lot of those guys.”
After dropping the season opener to Tampa Bay, the Falcons have posted victories over the Raiders, Saints, Panthers and Broncos. Seattle is considered one of the toughest places to play in the league.
“We know they are a tough outfit,” Quinn said. “The tape shows that. We went through some of the games before we came (to Seattle) and we went through some more (on Monday). Just a tough outfit in all three phases.”
The Seahawks will be coming off their bye week, which was needed to help quarterback Russell Wilson’s ankle and knee injuries heal.
Quinn wanted to overlook the notion that Seattle’s rested, while the Falcons are coming off of physical battles with Carolina and Denver, last year’s Super Bowl participants.
“We don’t think too much about who they had before us,” Quinn said. “They are next in terms of our preparation.”
With Wilson healthy and tight end Jimmy Graham returning to form, the Falcons’ defense has another stiff challenge. While Marshawn Lynch has retired, Seahawks running back Christine Michael is finally fulfilling some of the promise he showed at Texas A&M.
Wilson passed for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns in the 27-17 victory over the Jets.
Graham, the former New Orleans Saint, has been a disappointment since the Seahawks traded for him in March 2015. However, in the past two games he has 12 catches for 213 yards and a touchdown.
Falcons rookie safety Keanu Neal will draw Graham in some coverages. He’s coming off a strong game against Denver.
The Seahawks were counting on Thomas Rawls to carry the rushing attack, but he suffered a fibula injury and has missed the past two games.
Michael was drafted in the second round by Seattle in 2013, but they traded him to Dallas for a seventh round pick when things weren’t working out. After bouncing around the league, he was re-signed in December 2015.
Michael is making good on his second chance. He’s rushed 63 times for 290 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and two touchdowns.
Seattle’s defense is led by safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.