2017 NFL Divisional Playoffs – Seahawks at Falcons

The facts about road playoff games in the Russell Wilson era

  1. Seahawks have lost only two road playoff games. Both were 10am starts.
  2. The Seahawks will start slow.
    @ Washington Redskins initially down 14-0
    Final Score:  24-14 Seahawks
    @ Atlanta Falcons initially down 21-0
    Final Score: 30-28 Falcons
    @ Minnesota Vikings initially down 9-0
    Final Score: 10-9 Seahawks
    @ Carolina Panthers initially down 31-0
    Final Score: 31-24 Panther
  3.  They have not lost their first road playoff game.

These are the facts.  We know that Atlanta will come out big and establish an early lead, something like 17-3.  Not to worry Seahawk fans, this brand of Seahawks have never been blown out in the playoffs.

NEVER.

It’s a fascinating stat especially since they were an onside kick away from beating the Carolina Panthers after trailing 31-0 at halftime last year.

No Earl Thomas hurts.  It hurts a lot especially going against a studd of a quarterback like Matt Stafford.  Wait. We didn’t just survive that game we dominated that game, against a pretty good quarterback.

2016 NFL Matt Stafford StatsMatt Stafford.PNG

Now these aren’t Matt Ryan type stats but you would still think that with no Earl Thomas, the Lions would at least get in the red zone.  Or at least within the 30 yard line.  They didn’t.

The biggest difference however, are the surrounding pieces for which Matt Stafford did not have.  Matt Ryan has Julio Jones who won’t shrink in the lights and drop balls like some of the Lions’ receivers.

If the Atlanta Falcons can give Matt Ryan time to throw the Falcons will win a shoot out.  Still a close game, but a high scoring game.  If the Seahawks get an early lead they won’t have a shot at closing out the Falcons in the fourth quarter.  The Seahawks play differently when trailing.  They call plays differently, the sense of urgency is greater, and they are sharp.  The beating of the Denver Broncos is the only  example we have of the Seahawks destroying an opponent in the playoffs.  The defense of the Seahawks are not the 2013 Seahawks.

I’ve gone back and forth with this pick.  I will always root for the Seahawks but if I’m going to give a prediction based on what the data shows me, I hope I’m wrong, I’m going to have to pick the Atlanta Falcons.  I think there is only one road team winning this weekend and that’s the Green Bay Packers over the Dallas Cowboys.

Atlanta Falcons 34 Seattle Seahawks 31

 

 

 

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