Falcons beat Seahawks, advance to NFC Championship Game

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The Falcons are one win away from the Super Bowl after a dominant performance today against the overmatched Seahawks.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan showed his MVP form, and the defense largely held Russell Wilson, Thomas Rawls and company in check, as the Falcons beat the Seahawks 36-20.

It was a win that showcased Ryan as perhaps the best player in the NFL right now, a win that gave Falcons receiver Julio Jones a big personal victory over Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, and a win that has to give the Falcons confidence that they can be title contenders. Jones limped off the field during the game as a result of an aggravated foot injury, and if that limits him next week it would be a problem for the Falcons, although Jones didn’t appear to be too badly hurt.

It was also a Seattle loss in which the Seahawks had a lot of unforced errors, including big penalties, defensive breakdowns and an offensive line that couldn’t protect Wilson and once even tripped him in the end zone for a safety. That offensive line — the lowest-paid line in football by a wide margin — was a weakness of the Seahawks all season. Building an offensive line on the cheap didn’t work, and that failure cost the Seahawks.

And it was a loss that saw Seahawks coach Pete Carroll make some highly questionable game management decisions, including repeatedly punting on fourth-and-short when his team needed to keep the ball and sustain a drive.

The already depleted Seahawks secondary was depleted further when cornerback DeShawn Shead was carted to the locker room with what appeared to be a serious knee injury, and that Seattle secondary just wasn’t able to hold Ryan in check.

Next week the Falcons will either travel to Dallas or host the Packers, depending on the result of tomorrow’s NFC playoff game. Either way, it’s a game the Falcons can win. Especially with the way Ryan is playing. He’s a quarterback who can put a team on his back and take them to a championship.

123 responses to “Falcons beat Seahawks, advance to NFC Championship Game

  1. I think they rather play Dallas over Green Bay.

    The Cowboys don’t have a true home field advantage, and playing a rookie QB would be more desired than facing Aaron Rodgers at home.

  2. Thanks for playing 12s. You got boat raced *As Expected but more than that, Atlanta did you a favor by exposing what an overpaid fraud Richard Sherman is and how overrated Russell Wilson is, especially in the red zone. No Beast Mode, no more deep runs.

    You can pick up your orange slices and participation trophies at the door

  3. Congrats on the win Atlanta.
    Secondary is legion of disabled in Seattle.
    Offensive line is mixed. Good inside with worst tackles in the league.

    Fix it Schneider.

  4. enjoy that humble pie 2012s!

    maybe the “greatest Gm and coach in the history of sports” will get you some O-Line.

    Thanks for playing.

    Draft is in April.

    ONE YEAR DYNASTY

  5. Falcons looked fantastic. Might be quite a shootout if it ended up them vs Pats in Super Bowl.

  6. Rejoice, NFL fans, no more annoying, obnoxious Seattle fans to hear from. Well they’ll be Dallas fans tomorrow, but Seattle’s “dynasty” is officially over. Its a good day. Thank you, Atlanta for beating that classless team.

  7. PERFECT EXAMPLE of why smack talk is pointless before a game.. Seahawks did not play as so many talk JUNK they would…

    Falcons proved SUPERIOR on the field and that is all that counts…
    Sent home DONE!

    WHOSE NEXT?

  8. Anybody notice these defense-heavy Super Bowl teams, and how long their dominance lasts? ’85 Bears, 2000 Ravens, 2013 Legion of Boom, 2015 Broncos — Each one got dubbed “Greatest. Defense. Ever!” after their Super Bowl win — and yet none of them repeated. And only the LoB even got a second chance with the same squad. Now they are three full seasons from their glory moment against the Ponies.

    I suspect the reason is that, when you play defense that hard to compensate for a mediocre offense, you get injured a lot — yes, even if you’re in your 20s and imagine you’re invincible. Injuries to the defense have been at least part of the story for the Hawks since the SB win — that, and front office incompetence at taking the stress off of them.

    Big congrats to the Falconies for a terrific show today, they really didn’t leave any doubt. I suspect that the NFC game next Sunday is going to be a corker. Can’t wait.

  9. 😄Yay! Seattle is out! RWilson will say that this is a test from above to see how he will overcome this. Pfft. Blah blah blah.

  10. Two observations:

    1. Was that Arthur Blank’s daughter or wife? She looks a lot younger than him.

    2. Seattle was a bunch of sore losers at the end of the game – they have as much class as USC cheat Pete Carroll.

  11. Congratulations to the Atlanta Falcons. As much as I’d like to complain about a few things, what’s the point? Matt Ryan owned us and was dropping dimes all night long.

  12. Wilson’s now 3-16 when the defense allows 25+ points and 0-4 in the playoffs. Now that the defense is no longer “elite”, Wilson’s legacy will be less skewed and come more into focus, he was a product of a great defense and run game and was never good enough to lead that team to anything. Just like in college.

    I just wonder when the fans and media will start to realize it.

    #legionofwhom
    #fauxhawks!

  13. the witch is dead

    bye bye seattle for years to come

    the flacco qb contract that wilson now has,
    completely changes their previous cap formula, which
    allowed for more money and depth on the roster

  14. Congrats to the Falcons fans around here! That was a solid all-around game they just won. Atlanta beat Seattle in every phase except kick returns – Devin Hester turned out to be a great addition for Seattle. A really good game for Atlanta and their fans, again full congratulations and good luck next round.

  15. Congrats to the Falcons. I didnt think we would make it this far this season. Looking forward to the Seahawks getting healthy. You sponge head posers commenting I wish you well also, the 12’s need something to laugh at in the offseason, and there you are 😉

  16. Not a fan of either team, but that punt return by Hester that called back flipped the game. After the ensuing safety, Seattles momentum was completely shot. Seattle also had ALOT of missed opportunities. Atlanta dominated the game..but had Seattle took advantage of those opportunities, it would’ve been a different game.

  17. yes, i can be a turd at times. but i would love to be a reporter in the seattle locker room to say to sherman “so,specifically you, and in general the whole defense, were you even trying today, or were you still mad at the pistachio elephant from the tv ad”?

  18. Right again.

    I said the Seahawks were done without earl Thomas because they would look average at best, and I was dead on. Sure they beat the lions but the lions are horrible.

    I am never wrong.

  19. Knew the Falcons would win this game. The Seahawks didn’t even beat them at home with Thomas in the regular season. The refs did.

  20. This game was a mismatch. Matt Ryan destroyed that Seattle defense . Sherman is a mediocre cb without Thomas. He got picked apart all game. Wilson showed how mediocre he is. He makes one read then takes off running. He’s inaccurate, has bad ball placement when recievers are open. This game was alot more lopsided than what the score shows. Could’ve been 51-13 without Wilson’s garbage time td on the final minutes. The falcons are a dangerous team , they the real deal and will probably be in the Super Bowl. The seahawks are a mediocre team and will never sniff another superbowl with their current “stars”. Devon hester was their best player tonight. Everyone else choked. niners almost beat them. Came down to the final drive. LOL. The seahawks window has officially closed .

  21. Shinnbone says:
    Jan 14, 2017 7:55 PM
    Congrats Atlanta! You will have one more home game! and you’ll lose to the soon to be 14 time World Champion Green Bay Packers!

    and that is why green bay fans are right up there with the most insufferable fans in sports. BTW, how will gb play atlanta after the cowboys pound the crap out of them tomorrow?

  22. The Falcons are a well oiled machine. Did they even have any flags against them? Looked like the best team in the NFC. I’m getting worried for my Cowboys.

  23. Seahawks are the most classless team in the nfl. Bunch of sore losers EVERY year. Media please call them out on this. All us fans already know.

  24. Wilson to himself. “I would run more but those falcons are trying to hurt me.”

  25. dispozblcopy says:
    Jan 14, 2017 7:54 PM

    Anybody notice these defense-heavy Super Bowl teams, and how long their dominance lasts? ’85 Bears, 2000 Ravens, 2013 Legion of Boom, 2015 Broncos — Each one got dubbed “Greatest. Defense. Ever!” after their Super Bowl win — and yet none of them repeated. And only the LoB even got a second chance with the same squad. Now they are three full seasons from their glory moment against the Ponies.

    I suspect the reason is that, when you play defense that hard to compensate for a mediocre offense, you get injured a lot — yes, even if you’re in your 20s and imagine you’re invincible. Injuries to the defense have been at least part of the story for the Hawks since the SB win — that, and front office incompetence at taking the stress off of them.
    ——
    Many if not most of those SB winning teams didn’t return to the playoffs much less the SB.

    Seattle is the only team to return back to back SB’s in over a decade.

    As to no repeater, thank a lame OC, Darrell Bevell, who is the only coach from Seattle that no other team has had an interest in, gave away a SB by choosing to throw to a WR 5th on the depth chart who didn’t execute.

    Hat’s off to Atlanta who played very well against a weakened Seattle defense. Good luck in the NFC Championship game. Win it this time!

    Hat’s off to Seattle, only 1 of 2 teams, including NE, to make 5 straight final 8 NFL remaining teams.

  26. Anyone who actually thought this would be a good game or that Seattle had a chance obviously haven’t been watching the Seahawks play the past two years. Seattle as a viable contender ended once they decided to put the team in Wilson’s hands and out of Lynch’s capable legs.

  27. I was called delusional when I said that Dallas should fear the match up with Atlanta by mr.wright212 because he said Dallas should fear the Hawks because they were the better team…. Still feel like that mr.wright 212?

  28. This game would have been a lot different is the hawks were home. Laugh it up now trash takers, because the hawks will be back next year better and stronger than ever. Laugh it up or do something to make yourselves feel better since most of your teams didn’t even make it to the playoffs.

    “Other teams fans envy our teams players. Other teams players envy our teams fans”
    #12thmanstrong #dynasty #wilsoniseite

  29. Seattle’s defense is getting old and injured. With Thomas out, they played deep on first Atlanta drive…that didn’t work out so well, so they tried to play tight, and Mattie picked them apart with quick throws.
    Wilson had a mediocre game. Shame Hester had to watch his runs be called back….
    And they couldn’t stop Freeman…
    Good on Atlanta for actually grinding it out at beginning, and then pulling away. Not really typical of them. Maybe they are ready for the next level. Long overdue.
    Jones was a beast…out muscled Sherman quite easily…

  30. In every Seattle playoff loss, Rusell Wilson throws at least one pick. So much for Wilson being elite.

  31. leatherface2012 says:
    Jan 14, 2017 7:50 PM
    congrats atlanta. thanks for getting rid of the most insufferable fan base in the country..the idiot 12s
    ____________________

    Don’t sell yourself short. The purples are the most insufferable fans in the league, it’s not even close.

  32. I hope the Packers win tomorrow but seriously they are an Aaron Rodgers injury away from being the Browns.
    Suspect defense, no running game, average WR’s with Jordy out..
    Shows you how good A-Rod is!

  33. Re: why wasn’t the last turnover reviewed?

    It wasn’t ruled a fumble, it was an interception, meaning JG never actually controlled the ball, thus him being down wasn’t relevant. They could have challenged that it was a catch and thus he was down and it wasn’t a fumble I guess, but it didn’t look like he maintained the catch all the way through so that seems like it would have been highly unlikely.

  34. So many envious fans here of teams that haven’t won a Super Bowl in the last 10 years :).

  35. Sherman = overrated, mediocre, terrible man coverage, lazy conservative weak zone coverage . Overpaid, terrible leader, weak mind, head case, sore loser, unsportsmanlike, insecure, diva, whiner, crybaby, washed up, slow, holds all game.

  36. jag1959 says:
    Jan 14, 2017 8:20 PM
    leatherface2012 says:
    Jan 14, 2017 7:50 PM
    congrats atlanta. thanks for getting rid of the most insufferable fan base in the country..the idiot 12s
    ____________________

    Don’t sell yourself short. The purples are the most insufferable fans in the league, it’s not even close.

    umm no, that goes to green bay, whose fans insist that rodgers is better than every qb put together…brady is in his 32nd playoff game tonite..a league record bar none…how many has rodgers been in? good god

  37. not a fan of either team, but I respect both. If you are in the final 8, you did something right for 4+ months. Atlanta was just the better team today. No trash talk or belittling here – was fun to watch to good teams get it on.

  38. Half the trolls on this site are seattle fans. Skawh,vancouver,osirris etc. Karma 101

  39. leatherface2012 says:
    Jan 14, 2017 8:35 PM
    jag1959 says:
    Jan 14, 2017 8:20 PM
    leatherface2012 says:
    Jan 14, 2017 7:50 PM
    congrats atlanta. thanks for getting rid of the most insufferable fan base in the country..the idiot 12s
    ____________________

    Don’t sell yourself short. The purples are the most insufferable fans in the league, it’s not even close.

    umm no, that goes to green bay,
    ______________________

    You can’t even troll properly, you started out saying it was the 12’s. Go hug your Barney doll, the adults are talking

  40. When I go to Vegas I always think about putting some money on a team to win the super bowl. I always try to choose a true dark horse. I didn’t pull the trigger on the falcons.. kicking myself for it. They were 50/1. Haha but my other pick was the chargers. I don’t know what I was thinking there.

  41. Anybody notice these defense-heavy Super Bowl teams, and how long their dominance lasts? ’85 Bears, 2000 Ravens, 2013 Legion of Boom, 2015 Broncos — Each one got dubbed “Greatest. Defense. Ever!” after their Super Bowl win — and yet none of them repeated
    _____________________

    You forgot Tampa bay Buccaneers in 2002.

    Look at all this teams you mentioned and what did they have in common….. Poor QB play that couldn’t lead a team. McMahon, Dilfer, Johnson, Wilson (Manning of course retired but we all know why they won and it wasn’t because of Manning)…. The defense carried them and when the defense couldn’t do the heavy lifting anymore they didn’t have a QB who could take over. Hence that is why Wilson is compared to other QBs like a Dilfer, Johnson and McMahon by the smart, unbiased NFL fan who doesn’t buy into media narratives.

  42. leatherface2012 says:
    Jan 14, 2017 7:50 PM
    congrats atlanta. thanks for getting rid of the most insufferable fan base in the country..the idiot 12s

    ———————————

    You think they’re worse than the bandwagon Cowboys fans?

    In defense of the Seahawks fan, they’re confident about the future of their young team But I only recall a FEW Hawks fans being over the top with the dynasty talk, after their SB 48 victory. That “dynastyb4youreyes” guy was the WORST and he’s been hibernating for a while now. I hope he’s okay because I haven’t heard anything from him since Seattle lost to NE in the Super Bowl XLVIII.

    ABCD=ANYBODY But the Cowboys of Dallas!

  43. Not a fan of either team, but that punt return by Hester that called back flipped the game. After the ensuing safety, Seattles momentum was completely shot. Seattle also had ALOT of missed opportunities. Atlanta dominated the game..but had Seattle took advantage of those opportunities, it would’ve been a different game.

    ———————————————————————

    The best post of the thread, well said.

  44. Looks good on you Pete – screwed by a bad call on Hester’s return- referee Gods evening up.

  45. I agree whodat5150. Anybody remember the trash talking cowboy fans in the 90s gosh if you thought the “12s” and any other teams fans were bad, you forget the barry Switzer/Jerry Jones/Michael irvins type people of the world … Arrogant jerks.

  46. Grats to Atlanta and their fans! Ok, you guys are for real and you play with class. Good luck the rest of the way, well, unless…. 😉

    Packers fan

  47. jag1959 says:
    Jan 14, 2017 8:44 PM
    leatherface2012 says:
    Jan 14, 2017 8:35 PM
    jag1959 says:
    Jan 14, 2017 8:20 PM
    leatherface2012 says:
    Jan 14, 2017 7:50 PM
    congrats atlanta. thanks for getting rid of the most insufferable fan base in the country..the idiot 12s
    ____________________

    Don’t sell yourself short. The purples are the most insufferable fans in the league, it’s not even close.

    umm no, that goes to green bay,
    ______________________

    You can’t even troll properly, you started out saying it was the 12’s. Go hug your Barney doll, the adults are talking

    ======================================

    Leatherface sounds salty his team can’t have the success that Seattle and Green Bay has had. When people hate on you, it’s because you got something they want!

  48. jintfan says:
    Jan 14, 2017 8:20 PM

    I hope the Packers win tomorrow but seriously they are an Aaron Rodgers injury away from being the Browns.
    Suspect defense, no running game, average WR’s with Jordy out..
    Shows you how good A-Rod is!

    =============

    The way I saw it: Green Bay’s $20 million QB beat your $200 million defense like a drum.

  49. Who’s going to say Matt Ryan is “just a regular season ” QB?
    Who’s going to say “ATL’s defense can’t stop anyone”?
    Who’s going to say “without JJ, they’re just an average offense”?
    Who’s going to say “Quinn is just Mike Smith 2.0”?
    Tough to pick on ATL right now I’d say.

    SEA was beat soundly today and without Devin Hester this would’ve been a joke.
    ATL’s D-line manhandled SEA’s O-line
    ATL’s O-line opened holes for Coleman & Freeman and protected well enough for MR2 to throw for 3 TDs for the third straight playoff game.
    Rawls was not a factor
    Graham was not a factor
    Wilson is on an island
    Amazing how fast those windows close on these “dynasties” isn’t it?

  50. Pete won’t.be gnawing gum on the sidelines until next year. Seattle’s classless fans can enjoy being irrelevant for awhile. That salary cap is catching up with them now. Unless you ask Seahawksboymike. He thinks is the seahags will have a billion dollars in cap space next year and two billion the following year.

  51. Congrats to the Hawks, if Ryan can stay consistent after putting on an MVP performance the patience with him has paid off. All though last year’s MVP regressed a lot so everyone will have to wait and see.

    I hope this wasn’t the last game in ATL though.

    Go Pack Go.

  52. scmems07 says:
    Jan 14, 2017 7:56 PM
    Wilson’s now 3-16 when the defense allows 25+ points and 0-4 in the playoffs. Now that the defense is no longer “elite”, Wilson’s legacy will be less skewed and come more into focus, he was a product of a great defense and run game and was never good enough to lead that team to anything. Just like in college.
    ___________________

    Imagine that!? a QB has trouble winning shootouts with receivers like Lockette, Richardson, Harvin (who barely played), and Grahm? Especially behind that atrocious line….

    I can’t stand Seattle, but to expect him to hang with offenses like Atl. GB, or NE. Is goofy, If they would get WRs like Boldin and Steve Smith like Ravens do for Flacco, RW would be much closer to elite, and may have a chance at hanging with some of those better offenses.

  53. Congrats to Atlanta and all your fans.
    You guys brought it and Quinn had the team ready today.
    After Palmer picked us apart week 16 in Seattle I wondered how we would deal with Ryan in a road game.
    Good luck next week – hope you get a home game and go on to represent NFC in Super Bowl.

  54. Good job Falcons but why are journalists pushing this ‘victory of Sherman’ thing for Julio? I am sure he doesn’t care or look at it like that.

    Seattle needs to get depth in the secondary and some Offensive Line help.

    Atlanta will need to strengthen their defense.

  55. Aaron Rodgers had his best game ever in the dome in Atlanta in Jan 2011. I’m hoping for a repeat performance next Sunday. Hey, a guy can hope, right?

  56. As a Seahawks fan, I wanna thank Bevell for his 3 yard, cloud of dust, “dink and dunk” offensive plan. I’m really glad it applies to wide receivers too. Just one small problem, is that 3 downs, times 3 yards, only equals 9 yards.

  57. damondred1 says:
    Jan 14, 2017 11:16 PM
    Well, I hope this finally settles the MVP debate.

    It’s Ryan and it’s not close.

    ====================================

    He just may win the MVP this year, but to say it’s not even close is just being ignorant. Let’s compare real stats:

    Passing Yards:
    Ryan – 4,944
    Rodgers – 4,428

    Passing TD:
    Ryan – 38
    Rodgers – 40

    INTs:
    Ryan – 7
    Rodgers – 7

    Rushing Yards, Rushing TD:
    Ryan – 117, 0
    Rodgers – 369, 4

  58. In spite of all of the trash talk and insults on this thread by Seattle haters, I’d like to congratulate the Falcons and their fans. ATL is a great city with wonderful people. Loved Dan Quinn when he was in Seattle and wish him all the best. Pulling for you to go all the way!

    –A Lifelong Seahawks Fan

  59. For 5 years now, Seahawks have won at least one playoff game. And when they win only one, it is a disappointment for the fans. Easy to see why there’s so much hate for the team.

    And 49ers fans are the cutest, their best day of the season was watching the Seahawks lose. How pathetic that bunch is.

    Atlanta played well and executed. They look ready for the next level. Congratulations to the team, the city and their fans. They’ve been such a better group overall than their NFCS counterparts were last year.

    And today seems to have the potential to be an all-time great day in divisional round history. Hard to ask for better matchup, especially in a year that seemed devoid of marquee games. Hope all of you enjoy the games and get home safely. Yes, even the more boisterous trolls. God may not have blessed you with brains, looks, talent or a good football team, but he still loves you.

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