The NFL playoffs divisional round officially gets underway this Saturday afternoon when the Seattle Seahawks take on the Atlanta Falcons from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.
CBS Sports indicates that when NFL experts made their preseason predictions, many agreed that the Seahawks would be in this position, however, not many thought the Falcons would. With a chance to move on to the NFC title game for the first time since they dropped a 28-24 heart breaker to the San Francisco 49ers four years ago, the Falcons look like they have what it takes to make a run towards Super Bowl 51.
Julio Jones and Matt Ryan lead the charge for Atlanta on offense.[Image by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]
Seattle on the other hand has been in this position quite a bit over the past few seasons.
The Seahawks have won two of the last three NFC conference championships, leading to back-to-back appearances in Super Bowls 48 and 49. Seattle totally dismantled the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 48 by the final score of 43-8, however, they lost the following Super Bowl 28-24 to the New England Patriots and that game still hits a nerve with many Seahawks fans.
The topic of not handing the ball off to Marshawn Lynch on second and goal with 20 seconds left in the game will never go away for Seahawks fans. What could make that ugly memory fade a bit from fans who still have nightmares about that decision to pass the ball and not run the man they call “beast mode” is winning the Super Bowl this season.
Seattle may not have the same intimidating defense they had just a few seasons ago, but they still can bring the hard hitting action and they still rank in the top of the league in many categories. They will have to bring their A-game Saturday when they face Matt Ryan and Atlanta’s No. 1 ranked offense.
Atlanta scored 540 points this season, which was the best in the NFL, and nearly 200 more points than the Seahawks posted in 2016.
The last time the Atlanta Falcons met the Seattle Seahawks it was must see NFL TV. Back in Week 6, Atlanta was cruising into the fourth quarter following a 21 point third quarter rally giving the Falcons a 6 point lead. However, Russell Wilson rallied the Seahawks in the final period of play and Seattle pulled off the 26-24 victory.
Quarterback Russell Wilson will have to play at a very high level this weekend to defeat the Falcons. [Image by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images]
Since then it is pretty fair to say that the Falcons have played better overall football than Seattle, and a win this Saturday in Atlanta would give the Falcons a bit of revenge and help them advance to the NFC title game.
Atlanta heads into this match-up riding a four game winning streak, and they have won five of their last six overall. Atlanta is 4-2 against the Las Vegas spread in their last six games, however, they do fail to cover quite often when they are listed as a home favorite.
The Falcons are just 4-10 against the spread in their last 14 games at home, which is something to keep in mind if you like the Falcons this week.
The Seahawks on the other hand aren’t much better recently against the Vegas number. While the Seahawks are 7-3 straight up (SU) in their last 10 games, they are just 1-4 vs. the spread in their last five games on the road.
Obviously something has to give this week.
Even in Seattle’s 26-6 win over the Detroit Lions last week in the Wild Card round, the Seahawks didn’t seem as dangerous as they have been over the past five seasons – especially on the offensive side of the ball. That isn’t going to work against the Falcons.
For Seattle to win this game, they are going to have to somehow crack up their struggling offense. Russell Wilson has shown he is an elite quarterback, but this week he is going to need to pull a rabbit out of his hat if the Seahawks are going to pull off the upset win.
Prediction – Seattle has been one of the best teams in the NFL over the past five seasons, however, their season will come to an end Saturday. It is time for Matt Ryan to show NFL fans that his name does belong with best in the league. It will be close for a while, but in the end the Falcons offense will fly and Atlanta wins this game by double digits.
Pick — Atlanta -5
The Seahawks vs. Falcons 2017 NFL playoff game is scheduled to take place this Saturday, Jan. 14 at 4:35 p.m. ET. The game will be aired nationally on FOX.
[Featured Image by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]
This article was sourced from http://news06460.com