NFC: Seahawks (12-5) at Falcons (13-3)
The Falcons hope to erase memories of three one-and-done playoff appearances over the past five seasons, this time against a Seahawks team that has won six in a row.
Time: 1 p.m. today TV/radio: Ch. 13; 98.7-FM, 1010-AM
Coaches: Seahawks — Pete Carroll (25-23, 2-1 in playoffs at Seattle; 58-54, 3-3 overall); Falcons — Mike Smith (56-24, 0-3 playoffs)
Breaking it down
Seahawks game-breaker: Yes, Russell Wilson is quite a quarterback as his 100.0 rating suggests. But the Falcons should be wary of his running ability. A third of his rushes have resulted in first downs.
Falcons game-breaker: Wilson should be mindful of where S Thomas DeCoud lines up. The Falcons' interception leader looks to add to his six picks during his best season.
Why the Seahawks will win: Seattle's physical and aggressive play wears on the Falcons, who showed some weaknesses in a Week 17 loss to the Bucs. Can the Falcons match that after a bye week?
Why the Falcons will win: For one, Atlanta is as good a home team as there is in the NFL. But more than that, its offensive playmakers (WRs Julio Jones and Roddy White and TE Tony Gonzalez) can match up with Seattle's superb defense. Few teams can.
Look out for: Seahawks rookie DE Bruce Irvin makes his first career start after top pass-rusher Chris Clemons tore his left ACL last week. Irvin has big shoes to fill but must create pressure on QB Matt Ryan.
Seahawks 26, Falcons 23
Stephen F. Holder, Times staff writer
Rushing yards allowed
passing yards allowed
total yards allowed
87.3 (29th) 161.2 (3rd)
281.8 (6th) 189.4 (27th)
369.1 (8th) 350.6 (17th)
365.6 (24th) 306.2 (4th)
242.4 (23rd) 203.1 (6th)
123.2 (21st) 103.1 (10th)