Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  By Joe Tricarico  |  Last updated 1/8/17

The Atlanta Falcons finally have had their playoff opponent determined. Next week the Falcons will square off with the Seattle Seahawks in a matchup that is filled with headlines. Can the Falcons defense stop the extremely mobile Russell Wilson; can Julio Jones beat Richard Sherman in the secondary? Those are the two biggest questions for the Falcons, and if they can get those answers to sway in their direction, they will be able to win the game.

The Falcons are going to have to test Richard Sherman early. If Julio Jones cannot get anything going against the shutdown corner, they are going to have to look in other directions to get the passing game going. If Jones is ineffective, look to Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman to get a lot of targets out of the backfield. One of them will be able to break off a bug play at some point during the game. It would honestly be quite shocking if they were not able to get a big play at some point. Things will be looking good for Atlanta if Jones is able to make big plays down the field.

Defending Russell Wilson is going to be a major task for the Atlanta defense. Wilson is obviously one of the most elusive quarterbacks in the NFL and he is capable of giving the Falcons headaches all game. Putting a spy on him seems like the easy answer, but Seahawks have weapons all over the field and by focusing a linebacker or safety just on Wilson will open more pockets for the extremely effective Seahawks receivers. Head coach Dan Quinn is going to have to figure out a game plan for this very tricky Seahawks offense.

This is the toughest matchup the Falcons have head all season. Luckily they will not have to travel and the Seahawks are going to have to fly to an opposite end of the country to play the game. This is a major advantage for the Falcons and they should attack the Seahawks defense early with big plays in mind.

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