The Atlanta Falcons (13-3) host the Seattle Seahawks (12-5) Sunday at 1 p.m. ET (FOX) in the Divisional round of the 2013 NFC Playoffs. Atlanta is the NFC's top seed and had an opening-round bye. The Seahawks defeated the Washington Redskins, 24-14, in the wild-card round.
The Falcons are 0-3 in the playoffs with Matt Ryan as quarterback and Mike Smith as head coach. The New York Giants, of course, defeated the Falcons, 24-2, in the opening round of last season's playoffs en route to their fourth Super Bowl title.
SEAHAWKS: Have won 6 in row & 8 of past 9. During 6-game winning streak, have outscored opp. 217-74. Won 1st road playoff game since 1983 last week. Overcame 14-point deficit, largest of season. Club has scored 20+ points in 10 consecutive games (incl. playoffs). Seahawks had 5 players selected to Pro Bowl: RB MARSHAWN LYNCH (3rd), T RUSSELL OKUNG (1st), S EARL THOMAS (2nd), C MAX UNGER (1st) & KR LEON WASHINGTON (2nd)...Rookie QB RUSSELL WILSON has 27 TD passes, most by rookie in NFL history (incl. playoffs). Has also rushed for 4 TDs. Overcame 14-point deficit in WC (14-0), largest by rookie QB in postseason win in NFL history. In reg. season, completed 252 of 393 passes (64.1 pct.) for 3,118 yards with 26 TDs vs. 10 INTs for 100.0 passer rating, 1 of 2 rookie QBs in NFL history with 100+ rating in season. In past 4 games (incl. WC), has 7 TD passes vs. 1 INT, 116.9 passer rating & 4 rush TDs...RB Lynch was selected to 3rd career Pro Bowl & 2nd as Seahawk. Ranked 3rd in NFL with career-high 1,590 rush yards. Tied franchise playoff record with 132 rush yards last week & owns 2 of 3 highest marks in team postseason history. Incl. playoffs, has 100+ rush yards in 9 of past 11. In past 11 games (incl. WC), has 1,173 rush yards (106.6 per game) & 11 TDs (10 rush, 1 rec.). Since Nov. 2011, leads NFL with 2,663 rush yards (incl. playoffs). Aims for 3rd in row vs. Atl. with rush TD. RB MICHAEL ROBINSON scored 1st career postseason TD last week...WR SIDNEY RICE led team with 50 catches & 748 yards. Tied for club lead with 7 rec. TDs. Had 52-yard TD catch in last game vs. Atl. Tied NFL postseason record with 3 rec. TDs in 1/17/10 Div. (with Min.). WR GOLDEN TATE tied for team lead with career-high 7 rec. TDs...In reg. season, Seahawks led NFL in fewest points allowed (245), points per game allowed (15.3) & TDs allowed (25). Defense ranked in top 5 in NFC in all 3 categories: 2nd overall (306.2), 3rd passing (203.1) & 5th rushing (103.1). In WC, allowed 203 total net yards (99 passing, 104 rushing). Team's red zone defense was 2nd in NFC with 44.7% TD pct. allowed (17 TDs, 38 poss.)...CB RICHARD SHERMAN led team with 24 PD & 8 INTs, tied for 2nd most in NFL. Scored 2 TDs (blocked FG return & INT-TD). Rookie LB BOBBY WAGNER led team with 139 tackles. DE BRUCE IRVIN led NFL rookies with 8 sacks. Had 1st career postseason sack last week. S Thomas had INT in WC, 1st playoff INT. Was selected to 2nd consecutive Pro Bowl.
FALCONS: Have qualified for postseason in three consecutive years for 1st time in franchise history. Under head coach MIKE SMITH, team has made playoffs in 4 of past 5 seasons. Club has posted 5 consecutive winnings seasons, 1st time in franchise history. Falcons had 3 players selected to Pro Bowl: TE TONY GONZALEZ (13th), WR JULIO JONES (1st) & QB MATT RYAN (2nd)...QB Ryan has 56 regular-season wins as starter, most by QB in 1st 5 NFL seasons. Passed for team-record 4,719 yards & 32 TDs. His 68.6 comp. pct. was also a club record. Had career-high 99.1 passer rating, 2nd highest mark in franchise history. Is 2-0 in career vs. Sea. In career at home (incl. playoffs), is 33-6 (.846). Has posted 100+ rating in 33 games & Falcons are 32-1 (.970). Has 100+ rating in 20 home games & Atlanta is 20-0. Pass offense averaged 281.8 net pass yards per game, highest in team history. Offense averaged 369.1 net yards per game, 2nd best mark in franchise history (376.6 in 2011)...RB MICHAEL TURNER rushed for 10 TDs, his team-record 5th consecutive 10 TD season. Has 10+ rush TDs in all 5 seasons with Atl. Since joining Atl. in 2008, has 62 rush TDs, 2nd most in NFL (incl. playoffs). Has rush TD in 6 of past 7...WRs RODDY WHITE (1,351) & Jones (1,198) are 1st Falcons teammates with 1,000+ rec. yards in same season since 1998. White had team-record 6th consecutive 1,000-yard season. Since 2007 (incl. playoffs), has 585 receptions, most in NFC. Set club single-game postseason record with 11 catches in 1/3/09 WC. In 1st 2 NFL seasons, Jones has 133 catches for 2,157 yards (16.2 avg.) & 18 TDs. Had 11 catches for 127 yards in last game vs. Sea. TE Gonzalez was named to 13th Pro Bowl, most ever for TE. Led team with 93 catches. Has 5 seasons with 90+ receptions, most by TE in NFL history. Holds NFL record with 14 consecutive seasons with 60+ catches...DE JOHN ABRAHAM has 126 career sacks, most by active player (incl. playoffs). Has 4 career sacks in postseason. Led team with 10 sacks, his 7th season with 10+ sacks. LBs STEPHEN NICHOLAS & SEAN WEATHERSPOON tied for team lead with 95 tackles. CB ASANTE SAMUEL led team with 19 PD & was 2nd on club with 5 INTs. Has INT in 3 consecutive games. Holds NFL postseason record with 4 career INT-TDs. Has 7 career INTs in playoffs, 2nd most by active player & tied for 6th most in NFL history. S THOMAS DE COUD was 2nd among S with 6 INTs. DeCoud & WILLIAM MOORE (4) were only S teammates with 4+ INTs each.