The Seahawks have begun to show that they are not as terrible on the road as people thought after putting together a few road wins including the playoff win against the Washington Redskins. This week is an even tougher challenge as they head to Atlanta to face a high powered offense led by quarterback Matt Ryan.
Over the last few years, the Falcons have struggled in the postseason and have been eliminated sooner than some people might have thought. This year, Atlanta is the strongest they have been on offense in a long time. Defensively, Atlanta is weaker compared to the speed and skill they have on the offensive side of the ball.
This playoff battle will come down to one matchup, the receivers of the Falcons against the cornerbacks of the Seahawks.
Ryan has two of the most explosive receivers in the league in Roddy White and Julio Jones whose speed and agility can break the ankles of any defender in the NFL. Though the Falcons also have a solid running back in Michael Turner, their success on offense will be a direct relation to how well their receivers can perform against Seattle’s defense.
Where the Falcons have speed at the receiver position, the Seahawks have power and size in their corners. Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner will be two key players that can use their speed and size to try to shut down the Falcons’ offense. With Earl Thomas protecting deep at the safety position, the biggest concern for the Seahawks will be shutting down the passing game.
The winner of this game will be determined by who can outperform the other on the edge. Whether White and Jones can get open deep for Ryan or whether the defense can close all the passing lanes, this will show who will move on to play for the NFC Championship.