Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 1/9/13
Even with the surging Seattle Seahawks standing in the way, the Atlanta Falcons are confident they can end their recent playoff struggles. The top-seeded Falcons look to avoid a fifth consecutive playoff defeat while the Seahawks try to continue their postseason run with a seventh straight victory in Sunday's NFC divisional contest at the Georgia Dome. Atlanta (13-3) is 56-24 in five seasons under coach Mike Smith, but 0-3 in the playoffs over the previous four. The Falcons have totaled 441 yards and allowed 884 while being outscored 72-23 in their last two playoff contests, including a 48-21 loss to Green Bay two years ago when they also held the NFC's top seed. Though the Falcons' playoff futility has been a dark cloud hanging over Smith's otherwise successful tenure, they believe they've learned from the past playoff. "We're a much more mature team because of our experiences,'' Smith said. "I think you learn from your previous experiences in the playoffs. This is a team that ...
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