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Will Seattle’s’ surge continue this week at the Falcons?

January 10, 2013
By RICH GIBSON - Times Leader Sports Writer (rgibson@timesleaderonline.com) , Times Leader

They've been calling Seattle the team no one wants to face since Russell Wilson and company engaged on a late-season roll.

Last week in the nation's capitol, it appeared their good fortune had come to an end as RG III and the Redskins mounted a quick 14-0 lead.

By game's end, though, Seattle had roared back, registering a 24-14 triumph as the only road team to produce an opening round win on wild card weekend.

Which makes Sunday's Seahawks-Atlanta Falcons encounter must-see TV in a matchup of Wilson, the poised rookie vs. Falcons' veteran Matt Ryan who has engineered an effective Atlanta offense.

Of this weekend's four divisional postseason games, we find the Seattle-Atlanta tussle most interesting with one moving on to NFC championship game status the following week.

Not that the other three tilts are any less intriguing.

Football purists will likely be pulling for New England and Denver to prevail, potential outcomes which would result in a much-hyped Tom Brady-Peyton Manning battle for the AFC title.

On paper, the Pats figure to roll considering they easily disposed of Houston earlier at Foxborough. Denver's chances also appear strong with Manning and the Broncs enjoying home field advantage against Baltimore.

Saturday night's Packers-49ers clash, meanwhile, may well be the most-viewed game of the weekend. Any why not? Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay's offense facing a formidable 49ers' defense. Could go either way.

SATURDAY GAMES

BALTIMORE AT DENVER. Manning has been a man on a mission all season and his team enters on a lengthy winning streak. It is imperative the Ravens find a way to pressure the future HOF quarterback. The Dirty Birds also need to create at least a couple turnovers which is not out of the question. Baltimore running back Ray Rice must also be a factor for any upset chances the Ravens may have. Which appear to be slim and none. BRONCOS, 27-17.

GREEN BAY AT SAN FRANCISCO. Many are labeling this the NFC championship game and it has all of makings of such. Rodgers and Green Bay's offense will be put to supreme test by San Fran's gritty defense to which we're giving an edge. Another 'X' Factor: How Niners' quarterback Colin Kaepernick responds to postseason pressure. Playing at the friendly confines certainly can't hurt. 49ERS, 20-17.

SUNDAY GAMES

SEATTLE AT ATLANTA. Don't miss a minute of this one which may prove the weekend's best. At 13-3, Falcons have felt unappreciated all season minus a great deal of national exposure. An extra week off likely aided their preparation for a 12-5 Seattle team playing with great determination and confidence. It may come down to a critical turnover in the late going. FALCONS, 24-21.

HOUSTON AT NEW ENGLAND. Brady Bunch made it look unexpectedly easy in regular season beatdown played on the same field. A duplication, however, seems unlikely. We expect a four-quarter battle in Sunday's rematch. Still, it's difficult to imagine Texans finding a way to pull off an upset. PATRIOTS, 33-24.

LAST WEEK: 4-0. SEASON: 161-93. UPSET SPECIALS: 6-12.

Gibson may be reached at rgibson@timesleaderonline.com

 
 

 

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