The NFL heats up this week with the divisional playoffs across the football landscape. All it takes is three more wins to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy, with the Seahawks and Falcons plenty capable of doing just that. One is going to exit the playoffs are this matchup, though. Will it be the Seahawks or Falcons? The Hawks certainly have the pedigree to do make it happen, as they have playoff appearances to rely on, but something will have it give when these two combatants square up on Saturday.
It’s a game that feature two teams who have gotten respect at coming out of the NFC alive. The regular season has been rather kind to them, with a record of 10-5-1 for Seattle and 11-5 for the Falcons. The Falcons lost to the Seahawks early in the season in Seattle, and the image has been burning a hole in the minds of Falcon players. Note that they were right there, hanging in there against the Seahawks on the road, but an unfavorable call led to a Seattle victory.
Late in the game with seconds remaining, Matt Ryan was looking for Julio Jones deep. Ryan got the ball there, but Richard Sherman was able to get away with a blatant interference by pulling on Jones. If called correctly, the Falcons would have set up a field goal opportunity. Instead, the end result was a 26-24 win for the Seahawks. Now it’s time that the Falcons can extract a little revenge. The Falcons enter as 4.5 favorites at home, so it’s looking in the realm of possibilities that it comes true. Please go down to find our exclusive pick for this NFC Divisional pick in Atlanta.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons NFC Divisional Round Betting Odds:
vs. Falcons -4.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Seahawks vs. Falcons Pick:
I would have to say that the Falcons aren’t demanding much respect in this game. Their 26-6 win against the Lions isn’t being looked upon too favorably from the odds makers. Despite the easy win, the Seahawks are 4.5 underdogs and looking at a loss unless they pull an upset. For Seattle, they’re being looked at a bit down on for a road matchup with the Falcons. The Atlanta offense was tough to slow down in any event. They finished 2nd in the NFL in yardage per came, and averaged a stellar 33.8 points per game.
Matt Ryan had a banner season, posting career highs of 38 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. With a quarterback rating of 117.1, Ryan is tops at the list of most in MVP voting. However, his year is going to be dictated by what happens today against the Seahawks. He has been unable to shake the choker tag in the postseason, as he’s put together solid years in the regular season, but awful otherwise in the playoffs.
Ryan will have to make it work against a defensive unit of the Seahawks that allowed 318.7 yards per game on the season. The Seahawks gave up only 18.2 points per game and were regarded as a top unit frequently this season. Meanwhile, the Falcons’ defense has been getting exposed, coming in as the 25th best team on defense. This is a lot of points to be laying in the playoffs on a team with a team that have leaks on defense. I can’t see any other scenario where this game isn’t decided by a few points. This looks like a nice opportunity to grab the points with the Seahawks, in a game that should be decided by a field goal either way.
PICK: SEAHAWKS +4.5