For my money, the Seahawks are features in the most interesting game of the weekend for the second straight week. Last weekend, the Seahawks fell behind 14-0 to Washington, before turning it around and winning the game 24-14. Now, they travel to Atlanta to take on a Falcons team that is hoping the third time is the charm for their playoff win hopes. Two years ago, they got crushed as the #1 seed at home by Green Bay. Last year, they managed a mere two points against the Giants. Now what do those two teams have in common? They both went on to win the Super Bowl. Atlanta will be looking to change that fate this year. Let’s dive in shall we.
How the Falcons Can Win: Atlanta notched a 13-3 regular season record for the second time in three years, and yet they are almost seen as after thoughts in the packed NFC. Now that Seattle is catching everyone’s attention, the Falcons are managing to fly under the radar as the top seed in the NFC. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Roddy White have alot to do with that. However, unlike in years past, the running game has yet to really be a factor for much of the season. If Atlanta wants to break through and get that playoff win, either Turner or young gun Jacquizz Rodgers will have to have big games. On defense, Atlanta has been solid but not fantastic this season. In the games that they have lost, the defense clearly struggled, and based on how Seattle has been playing the last two months, they will have a tough task on their hands on Sunday.
How the Seahawks can Win: In recent years, the biggest knock on the Seahawks has been their inability to win outside of Seattle. This also stood true for much of the year, as they wen 3-5 away from home, including losses against bottom feeders St Louis and Detroit. While these are concerns for fans of the blue birds, they have to be happy about their team registering three straight road wins, including last week’s thrilling matchup of young, mobile, rookie QBs. The Seahawks matchup well with the Falcons, as it looks like Marshawn Lynch will have a field day against one of the worst rushing defenses in the league. Defensively, the Hawks are one of the few teams that can matchup with the explosive Atlanta offense, so the Falcons could need to find another way to move the football.
Our Prediction: This is really a tough one. Seattle fits the mold for the “hot team to win it all” that Green Bay and New York played the last two seasons. And Atlanta hasn’t impressed anyone with their play in January of the past couple years, so all signs should point to a Seattle win. However, I have a gut feeling that Atlanta steps up and wins this one. Not really sure why. I think Atlanta might have felt intimated or over matched by the Packers and Giants, and perhaps they won’t feel like that against a young, upstart Seahawks team. Bottom line is that things might have to change in Atlanta if they lay another goose egg, and I just don’t see it happening for a third year in a row. Atlanta gets the win here 30-24.
What do you guys think will happen? Will Atlanta disappear once again in January? Or will Seattle’s incredible run of late finally come to an end in the dome? Let us know what you think in the comments!