The Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons will meet for the first time since the NFC divisional round of the playoffs last season.
In that game, the Seahawks rallied from a 20-0 halftime deficit to take a 28-27 lead with just 31 seconds to play, but quarterback Matt Ryan needed just two plays to travel 41 yards and set up Matt Bryant for a 49-yard, game-winning field goal.
Since that game, these teams have gone in two completely different directions. The Falcons have struggled through injuries to a 2-6 record while the Seahawks, at 8-1, look like the class of the NFC.
Matt Ryan, who appeared to have emerged as one of the game’s elite quarterbacks, has really struggled at times. Ryan has completed 225-of-332 passes for 2,442 yards with 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
On the other hand, Russell Wilson is 144-of-231 for 1,845 yards, has rushed for 375 yards on 67 carries and has scored 16 total touchdowns to just six interceptions.
Both teams’ star wide receivers have had serious injury issues.
Atlanta’s Julio Jones is out for the season while Roddy White is listed as questionable for the game. Seattle’s Percy Harvin, who hoped to be making his season debut, is out.
With Wilson and the Seahawks’ dominating defense and the way the Falcons have played this season on both sides of the ball, it’s hard to envision the Falcons being able to hang with the Seahawks throughout the game.
The guys in Las Vegas feel the same way, making the Seahawks a six-point favorite in the Georgia Dome.
I like the Seahawks to cover.