By: Will Stevenson
A PLACE FOR FRAUDS
On one hand we have a team that is offensively inconsistent and on the other hand, we have a team that has been a fraud since I was a middle-schooler. I don’t particularly believe in any of these two teams, but being in the Divisional Playoffs is more than the other 24 teams in the NFL. The Falcons under Dan Quinn have been on fire offensively this season while the Seahawks have been up and down for most of this season.
BATTLE OF THE BIRDS
As for the tale of the tape, the Seahawks and Falcons met earlier in the regular season back in Week 6. The Seahawks won at home, 26-24 as Running Back Christine Michael (not with the team anymore) scored 2 touchdowns. The last time these two teams met in the playoffs, the Falcons won on a game-winning field goal. Looking at the trend, this game will be tight until the fourth quarter, we can only hope.
BIRDS OF PREY
I confess, as a former Atlanta Falcon, I have watched as they have dragged my sports heart through the mud, each and every time they enter the playoffs. For some reason, the Falcons have been fraudulent throughout their playoff career. Anyway, their offense is averaging 33 ppg this year as Matt Ryan seems to have entered the *speaks whisperly* “Elite” category. Matt Ryan is accompanied by Running Backs Devonte Parker and Tevin Coleman, and a Wide Receiving corp Mohamed Sanu, Taylor Gabriel and anchored by Julio Jones. As a former assistant with the Seahawks, Head Coach Dan Quinn faces off against his former team in his postseason debut. A bright spot for the Falcons would be Vic Beasley, who led the NFL with 15.5 sacks this season, and has had 6 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in the last 6 home games.
HOW DO THE SEAHAWKS DO IT
The Seahawks are led by Quarterback Russell Wilson who is 8-3 in 11 career postseason starts with a QBR (Quarterback Rating) of 95.9. Wilson has many wins as a starter, but will that matter much as their offense has sputtered in spots throughout the season. Wilson needs help from his running game led by Thomas Rawls who rushed for a franchise postseason-record 161 yards last week against the Lions. The Seahawks don’t have the household names at Wide Receiver, but believe the Falcons secondary will remember Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse. Doug Baldwin is an excellent pass catcher, route runner, third down conversionist and touchdown maker. If Baldwin, Kearse and Jimmy Graham can all be involved and effective at the same time, then the Seahawks offense will be hard to stop.
A LEGION OF HOPEFULLY SOON
Since the injury of Safety Earl Thomas, the Seahawks rank 30th in defense. The Seahawks have the names, but there play on the field has deteriorated over the past weeks, especially with their rushing defense.
We have a team that is rolling offensively, versus a team that is struggling with rushing and passing defense. We have a team that has been a fraud in the playoffs versus a team that seems to rise to the occasion.
As with the Chiefs, will the Falcons finally Rise Up?