Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons Divisional Playoff Preview

Ralph LongoAnalyst IIIJanuary 9, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 06:   Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks is tackled by  Perry Riley #56 of the Washington Redskins in the second quarter of the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at FedExField on January 6, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

This Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks, fresh off a big win against Washington, will take on the Atlanta Falcons to determine who will move on to the NFC Championship. It's a very even matchup that should be a fun one to watch. 

So, who's going to win? 

This is a really tough game to call. On one hand, you have the Seahawks who are a red-hot team and are playing very well right now. On the other hand, the Falcons had a terrific regular season and are looking to break their one-and-done playoff tradition, which has been a custom of the Matt Ryan era. 

The key on offense for Seattle is going to be whether or not they can establish the running game early on and keep Atlanta off the field. Seattle did a great job last week of controlling the clock, utilizing the legs of Marshawn Lynch, Russell Wilson and even Robert Turbin. 

If Seattle can keep the ball in their hands and have long scoring drives, as they did last week and chew up the clock, it will greatly increase their chance of winning this football game.

Seattle has a stellar defense that's no doubt going to keep them in this one. Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman have the two most important assignments against Julio Jones and Roddy White.

How they do against these two could very well decide the game.

If they can contain Atlanta's two stud wideouts, and not let Matt Ryan get into a rhythm early on, it's going to be tough for Atlanta to come out on top. Atlanta's running game isn't really adequate enough to get them a win, so stopping the pass is really all Seattle will have to do. 

I'm betting they will. All Seattle needs in this one is stop the pass and have Russell Wilson play a normal Russell Wilson-style game, and they should win. Frankly, I'm surprised they're the underdogs; they're on a roll and show no signs of slowing down. 

Matt Ryan is an excellent QB and will keep the Falcons in the game, but Seattle's going to eek this one out, maybe even by a late field goal. 

Final Score: Seattle wins, 23-20.