Playoff Predictions: Battle of the Birds

The Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks will go head to head in an NFL playoff matchup this coming Saturday; lets break it down.

Last time these two teams met, the Seahawks outlasted the Falcons 26-24 at Century Link in Seattle, this time, things should be different. The Seahawks will now be away from their hometown and playing in the Georgia Dome and the refs will be forced to pay special attention to the Julio Jones/Richard Sherman matchup that is bound to have some serious fireworks. So you Seahawks shouldn’t count on Sherman getting away with cheap holds.

However, the Seahawks have completely refurbished their running game this year and brought back their Beast Mode offense. Russel Wilson is basically a second running back under center with a laser for a right arm. The Seahawks are ranked 2nd in overall offense according to ESPN.

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Hawks Quarterback and Running Back Russel Wilson and Christine Michael courtesy Herald.net

 

The Falcons are no slouches themselves though.

Matt Ryan has put up an MVP caliber season, 69% completion percentage, and almost 5000 yards passing. Julio Jones is an outstanding target, to be paired with the vastly underrated Mohammed Sanu. Devonta Freeman has also had a good year adding to the the offensive balance of the Falcons.

The Seahawks have a very decent secondary and they run the ball better than most teams in the league. This was evident in Seattle’s trampling of the Detroit Lions in the Wild Card game last week. A game they won 26-6.

Here are some things to consider, the Falcons and Lion’s defenses are on the same level when it comes to rush defense, Atlanta being ranked 17th in rush yards per game and Detroit ranked number 18.

Nevertheless, the key to this game will be Devonta Freeman. Unlike Detroit, the Falcons actually have a running game, and its one of the best in the league for that matter. The Falcons average nearly 120 rushing yards per game, much more than the Lions. So if Freeman shows up, this could get out of hand.

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Falcons Running Back Devonta Freeman: courtesy of the Sporting News

The Seahawks do play well in the Georgia Dome though, going 3-1 against the Falcons when playing in Atlanta. In reality this will be a total shootout, the end of the game being solely determined on who’s defense shows up in the fourth quarter.

Official TopChedd prediction: Atlanta moves on edging out the Seahawks 35-31

 

All stats courtesy of ESPN

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