Atlanta Falcons beat Seattle Seahawks 36-20, advance to NFC title game


The Atlanta Falcons beat the Seattle Seahawks 36-20 to advance to the NFC Championship game. The Falcons proved themselves as the contender few saw coming.

The Atlanta Falcons beat the Seattle Seahawks, 36-20, in a very entertaining divisional playoff game. Offense was the theme throughout the contest. Both teams drained the first quarter with a single drive, each resulting in touchdowns. Seattle played tough, but it was Atlanta’s offense that would not relent.

Special teams was a factor early with Devin Hester nearly taking a few kicks to the house. That’s the Devin Hester of the Seattle Sehawks. Yes, former Atlanta Falcon Devin Hester. Hester was awfully “chippy” in his return to the dome and rightfully so. If not for a fortuitous holding penalty, the return-man would’ve had a 79- yard punt return.

Instead of putting Seattle in position to build on their lead, the penalty negating Hester’s big return put Seattle along their own goal line. Two plays later, Russell Wilson fell backwards and into the end zone for a safety. This was the turning point of the first half as the Atlanta Falcons went on to score 19 unanswered points thereafter.

No stopping “Ryan & Co.” on offense

The full arsenal of offensive weapons was again on full display…

The Atlanta Falcons offense looked like the well-oiled machine that we have grown accustomed watching. Scoring 30-plus points in an NFL game is difficult, but the 2016 Falcons have made it routine. The full arsenal of offensive weapons was again on full display as seven different players caught a pass from Matt Ryan. Julio Jones exited with foot issues in the toward the half and it almost didn’t matter. The “next man up” mantra of the Falcons took over.

Matt Ryan continued to show why he is the front runner for the NFL MVP. He finished the day throwing for 338 yards and 3 touchdowns. Ryan looked as poised as ever and further cemented himself as the ultimate leader and heartbeat of the Falcons.

Stronger defense with every snap

Things began a little shaky for Atlanta on the defensive side of the ball. The Seahawks used 15 plays to march 89 yards on their opening drive. Seattle took the quick and early lead, but that ‘Dan Quinn difference’ we often speak of soon arrived. The Falcons’ defense tightened up their game and began pressuring Wilson, Seattle’s quarterback essentially ran for his life and took a lot of hits in the process.

The second half was even bigger as Atlanta’s defense finished the job. They force two interceptions and made plenty of 3rd down stops.

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Take a deep breath Falcons Nation…you can release that exhausting, nervous energy we all shared yesterday. It’s time to celebrate the Falcons’ win and fourth trip to the NFC Championship in franchise history.