Found January 12, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Win or go home, version II The Seahawks will try to make it two in a row on the road in the playoffs on Sunday. A feat that surely will not come easy against a team that loses at home just about as much as the Seahawks do. Matchup: Seattle vs. Atlanta Date: 1-13-13 Venue: Georgia Dome Time: 10:00 AM (local) Weather: Indoors Team Records: Seattle 12-6. Atlanta 13-3 Standings: Seahawks 5th seed. Falcons 1st seed Atlanta does come into this game with the best record in the NFC, but in my eyes, the two teams to watch out for are the Seahawks, and 49ers. Not taking anything away from this Falcons team, but they just don’t seem to have that scare factor that is needed in the playoffs like the Hawks, Niners, and Packers do. But, this is one team that we do not want to fall behind early to. A start like last week cannot happen again, not if we want to win that is. Game notes/How they match up The wideouts for the Falcons are the biggest threat in my eyes. That will be the one thing that could burn us, even though Matt Ryan will be throwing into the best coverage secondary in the NFL. Like I said earlier, the Seahawks slow offensive start last week cannot happen again this week. Russell Wilson will need to make sure to do everything in his power to avoid an early three and out. The dome in Atlanta will for sure be rocking, as the fans down there will try to do their best 12th man performance to shake our offense. But little do they know, there is only one 12th man in the NFL, and they reside at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Defense will be key in winning another road game in the playoffs What to watch: Seattle A fast start. That is the biggest concern of mine heading into this game. Nothing can or will derail our Super Bowl train faster than an early deficit. Marshawn Lynch was listed as questionable, for the 19th straight week, but did finally make it back to practice today, so he should be good to go. And we will need him to be at his best in this game. With the playoff jitters out of the way, hopefully we can settle into our style of game play early, and jump out to a lead instead of playing from behind again. What to watch: Atlanta With two weeks off between games, the Falcons should be all rested and ready to go. But, we have seen this come back and bite teams on more than one occasion before, let’s hope that it’s another one this week. Matt Ryan still has the stigma of being the best young QB in the league without a Playoff win to his credit, so he will have that extra incentive going for him. With star DE John Abraham listed as questionable, this could cause some problems on the Falcons defensive front line. (NWSB senior editor Q heard that he was going to play though). Seattle O vs. Atlanta D I think this is going to be more of a what to watch matchup than the vice versa one, because no team has had a hotter offense than the Seahawks have in the past 6 weeks. Well, no defense has been hotter either, so we got that going for us as well. With standouts on the front line, Abraham, and Jonathan Babineaux, the O line will need to do a better job of opening up wholes for our backs, and clear lanes for Wilson when he decides to run. The most dangerous name on the Falcons roster is Asante Samuel by far. But, as I have mentioned in the past couple weeks, the Seahawks have found some underestimated threats on the passing game, so it won’t be necessary to throw Samuel’s way too often. Atlanta O vs. Seattle D As good as our defensive backs are, the Falcons receivers may just be a little bit better. With fantasy point juggernauts Roddy White, Tony Gonzales, and Julio Jones, our DB’s will have their hands full. And the threats don’t end there either. The Falcons running game is just as tough. Michael Turner, Jason Snelling, and former Beaver Jacquizz Rodgers can turn on the jets and pull off a big one at any given time. This is definitely the best offense that we have faced in two months. Which will make a Seahawks victory that much more sweet, and put us on the radar of the AFC teams looking to make it to the Super Bowl. Injury Report Seahawks Doubtful: Byron Maxwell. Questionable: Jeron Johnson. Probable: Marshawn Lynch, Sidney Rice. Falcons Out: Chris Owens. Questionable: John Abraham, Charles Mitchell. Probable: William Moore, Dunta Robinson. Prediction The Falcons are favored by 2.5 points in this one. I am thinking something a little different, something more along the lines of what ESPN is predicting, which is 23-20 Seahawks. Seahawks 21 – Falcons 17 CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE SEAHAWKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!
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