And we haven't even talked about the big scary elephant in the corner. This Atlanta team is basically us in 2005. A #1 seed that hasn't won anything before, being told by everyone in the country that they are going to choke. They have the ultimate "nobody believes in us!" card to play. You know the Falcons want nothing more than to prove everyone wrong, and to remove the choker label that has been placed on Matt Ryan and Mike Smith. These are the sort of factors that can lead a lesser team to a victory, let alone a team that went 13-3 that is playing at home where it plays very well.
A lot of your "Atlanta is the Seahawks in 2005" points are on the money. I'm worried about some of those same things. Atlanta has a (passing) offense that can flat out move the ball and score on anyone. But they DO NOT have a big-time RUNNING GAME like the 2005 Seahawks had. I remember feeling sorry for the pathetic Carolina fans in 2005, who didn't see it coming that Seattle would bulldoze right over them with Shaun Alexander behind Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson.
For another analog, Denver with John Elway kept losing in the Super Bowl. Absolutely blown out by Washington. Then they played Holmgren's Packers and I knew the Broncos would win, because this time they had Terrell Davis and that big-time running game.
This year's Seahawks don't have quite the running game of the 2005 Seahawks--but wait, there's Russell Wilson and the read option! And a quarterback who can scramble and create! So really, we are on a par with the 2005 Seahawks, and in some ways better, on the offensive side of the ball, and with a better, deeper defense.
This year's Atlanta team is reminiscent of some of the Air Coryell San Diego Chargers teams, and Ryan is like a poor man's Dan Fouts, and Tony Gonzalez is a HOF tight end just like Kellen Winslow (Sr.) The Chargers made it to the Super Bowl *once* that I can recall out of those years, and that was just *after* the Air Coryell years.
Atlanta is also somewhat reminiscent of the Kurt-Warner-led St. Louis Rams teams, except with no Marshall Faulk. But remember how, in the NFC Championship game, the Rams barely got by Tampa Bay and their elite defense, in an offense-less slugfest? (a former Seahawk WR caught the game-winning TD from Warner) If Tampa Bay had a passable offense that season, they would have had another Super Bowl title.
Anyway, Seattle's D will do a better job of slowing down Atlanta's O than Atlanta's D will to with Seattle's O.
Steve2222 wrote: "I'm going to call a spade a spade. This is a 9 win team who is going to need luck getting into playoffs."