Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons Betting Odds, Analysis, NFL Pick

That doesn’t mean Atlanta’s DJ can’t do it on his own though.

The Seahawks, emboldened by a win over Detroit that felt a little more like their old selves, undoubtedly feel they are, too.

How They Got Here: After winning the NFC West, the Seattle Seahawks dispatched the Detroit Lions 26-6 in the Wild Card game behind a franchise postseason record 161 rushing yards by running back Thomas Rawls.

It’s not like Seattle and its 25th-ranked run game forgot that blueprint in 2016; Pete Carroll took out Thomas Rawls insurance in the form of re-signing Christine Michael and spending three of his 10 draft picks on backs. But, there are reasons to believe he won’t be as successful versus the Falcons as he was Saturday night against the Lions. He was held without a sack through the first six games of this season, but after the Seattle game, he broke loose for a league-best 15.5 sacks and 6 forced fumbles.

But the loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 16 cost the Seahawks the chance to get a bye and a home game this week with the No. 2 seed, which instead went to Atlanta. “It makes the game very interesting – and it also makes it a great challenge”.

Thus, it wasn’t until Saturday night, when Rawls’ Lynch-like 27-161-1 set off his own quake in the form of a new postseason franchise rushing record, that Seattle’s vision came into focus.

More impressively, and more importantly, the Seahawks looked enlivened on offence. That led to a season-high 40 points. Jones still caught 83 passes for 1,409 yards, however, and eight different players on this offense caught at least 20 passes this year. Not known for his postseason success, Ryan has thrown for 646 yards and six touchdowns (three INTs) in his past two playoff games. Perhaps those games could be chalked up to the Seahawks’ championship pedigree, although one suspects the little demons inside Chandler Catanzaro’s head probably had more of a role to play.

The Seahawks’ offensive line can run block! If Atlanta’s defense was going to stay afloat, they’d need an extremely young secondary to grow up fast and play well for the rest of the year.

Richard Sherman – The one man on this team who plays with a desire to always be the best is Richard Sherman.

Normally, a defense can’t afford to lose the best player at his position in the National Football League, but the Seahawks didn’t become the best franchise over the last four years because of one player.

Quarterback Russell Wilson averaged 7.6 yards per attempt, throwing 17 touchdowns and four interceptions at Century Link Field this season. In 11 playoff games, Wilson is averaging 232 yards per game and completing 62.1 percent of his passes with 18 touchdowns passes and seven interceptions.

That had a trickle down effect in their running game. Among the losses were dropped games against division champions from Kansas City and Seattle. Needless to say, they took care of business. The problem is, they’re short one of their best players as they have been since Week 12 when Earl Thomas was lost for the season to a gruesome lower leg injury; one that had the Pro Bowl free safety publicly questioning whether he’ll ever return to action.

Matt Ryan