The Seattle Seahawks fly out to the East Coast this weekend and they’ll take on the Atlanta Falcons in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. This thing could go either way, or maybe not. Let’s take a look at both the Falcons and the Seahawks and see if we can make some sense out of this thing.
In the favor of the Atlanta Falcons is the hard earned home field advantage. You don’t get the #1 seed in the NFC by being a slouch. You earn it. The Falcons won 13 games in 2012, enough to put them on top. But that may or may nor be an advantage in reaching a Super Bowl. #1 seeds haven’t fared very well in the last few years. In addition, the Falcons themselves haven’t fared very well in the postseason under Mike Smith, packing their bags after just one game in back to back seasons.
A closer comparison to the Seahawks may shed some light on how I’m leaning in this game. The most obvious advantage Seattle brings is their defense. This is a hard hitting group that only gives ground very grudgingly and is the stingiest defense in the NFL when it comes to giving up points. The Seahawks overall come in at #4 on defense. On the other side of the ball Seattle will be able to keep possession on their side by running Marshawn Lynch against an Atlanta defense that is ranked #21 against the run.
On their side of the ball the Atlanta Falcons can put up a running game that is in the lower rungs of the NFL. Toss in the dismal performances Falcons fan have seen in the post-season under Mike Smith and there has to be some fingernail chewing going on in Georgia.