Home » Blog » NFC Div. Round: Seahawks vs. Falcons

NFC Div. Round: Seahawks vs. Falcons

With the Falcons waiting in the wings, the Seahawks defeated one of the league’s biggest 2012 surprises last week to advance to meet Atlanta in Sunday’s divisional round showdown, which should prove to be one of the most exciting of the NFL playoff weekend.

Although Atlanta posted an NFC-best 13-3 record during the regular season, it still has a lot to prove. Hanging over the city of Atlanta and the Falcons is a frequently referenced four consecutive playoff game losing streak for the franchise, a streak the team obviously hopes to turn around against the Seahawks.

Russell Wilson has only thrown 2 INTs in his last nine games. Not bad for a rookie

Seattle comes into this weekend’s matchup with all the hot hands. Their defense ended the season as the NFL’s best in terms of points allowed, giving up just 15.3 per game and the offense surged during the last few weeks. Russell Wilson has posted the league’s best QB rating since November and Marshawn Lynch has averaged well over 100 yards rushing in the last five contests. Those numbers resulted in the team winning six consecutive games, three of which came on the road, including last week’s win in Washington. Basically, Atlanta will have its hands full.

However, there are plenty of reasons Atlanta won 13 games during the regular season. The Falcons boast a similarly balanced team, which has been more predicated on the passing game this season. Matt Ryan has enjoyed another pro bowl type season, throwing for more than 4,700 yards and 32 touchdowns. He and his big receivers, including Roddy White, will be going up against one of the most aggressive and physically intimidating secondaries in the league this week, which will be a matchup the game may hinge on.

Matt Ryan will need to be mistake-free against the ball-hawking Hawks

The other challenge for Atlanta will be defending Seattle’s potent rushing attack. Atlanta’s defense, which ranked in the bottom half of the league (21st) against the run, will have not only one big rusher to try to bring down in Lynch, but will also have to contend with the mobile quickness of quarterback Wilson, who rushed for nearly 500 yards himself this season.

The Hawks match up fairly well on the other side of the ball as well, but they will be without their leading sack master, Chris Clemons, who tore his ACL is last week’s victory. However, Seattle’s team defense approach should still be effective without him.

Odds makers are giving the Falcons a slight three-point edge, most likely because the Falcons are at home, but playing in a dome should create more of a neutral playing surface for these two speedy teams anyway. It will certainly be a close game, possibly coming down to the last play, but I like Seattle in this one. They are the hotter team, they have the stronger defense and they don’t have the burden of carrying a playoff skid on their shoulders and minds. Take Seattle to cover +3 here and win the game outright to advance to the conference championship round.




  • 100%