The new year is here and 2017 is in full motion. Frigid temperatures, icy roads and snow laden streets and houses are now the norm, and will continue to be so for the next few months. And while these are all terrific staples of the first few months of the year, one particular yearly tradition stands out above the rest: the NFL playoffs. This year’s heated contest is shaping up to be a tremendous race to the Super Bowl. With the Wild Card round out of the way, this weekend’s Divisional Round will weed out the weaker teams even further in the quest for league dominance. One game in particular has the attention of many: The Seattle Seahawks versus the Atlanta Falcons.
This upcoming Saturday, January 14, the Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1) will visit the Georgia Dome to take on the Atlanta Falcons (11-5). A rematch of week 6, the Falcons are looking to exact revenge upon the Hawks after losing 26-24. The game, which took place on Oct. 16, was a fairly even match up, showing just how evenly matched the two teams are. But that was three months ago, and things in football can change rapidly. For one, the absence of Seahawks’ safety Earl Thomas, could drastically change the tone of Saturday’s game. In their first outing, Thomas proved to be challenging for the Falcons racking up four tackles, three stopped passes and an interception that set up the game-winning field goal. This time, however, Thomas will not be present after suffering a broken tibia, rendering him out for the remainder of the season. This could give the Falcons a leg up.
Most viewers will probably focus on the match up between Falcons receiver Julio Jones and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. While Sherman is certainly good at what he does (the star cornerback is known for his boastful personality), Jones proved in October’s game that he can keep up with Sherman. Sherman guarded Jones for only five passes, but Jones came down with the ball three times, for a total of 40 yards. It should be exciting watching these two go toe-to-toe.
While a large majority of the public is excited for the Green Bay vs. Dallas game, I’m personally excited for this rematch. As a former Falcon myself, I cannot wait to see this game.
On a side note, this may be the final NFL game ever played in the Georgia Dome, seeing as how the Falcons are set to move to the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium next season, with the Georgia Dome being demolished to make way for premier parking, a park and a reserved area for a luxury hotel. So if this truly is the last game the Falcons will play in the Georgia Dome, I hope they come away with a huge win!