The Seattle Seahawks hosted the Detroit Lions in the Wild Card round on Jan. 7 where they dismantled them 26-6 to set up a rematch from Week 6 against the Falcons – only this time in the Georgia Dome against a rested Atlanta team. In 2012, the last playoff meeting between both teams, the Falcons outlasted the Seahawks 30-28 at home in the Divisional round. Seattle’s defensive coordinator was Dan Quinn then, now head coach of the Falcons, so he’d be ready to send his former team packing. Atlanta wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the Georgia Dome as they cruised past Seattle 36-20 on Jan. 14.
Russell Wilson was a huge factor early on for the Seahawks as he led Seattle down the field for a touchdown on the team’s opening drive. The touchdown was a completion to tight end Jimmy Graham, an area in which Seattle probably emphasized knowing the Falcons were playing a rookie safety, Keanu Neal, on him. No surprise, Atlanta responded with with a touchdown to a threat of its own, as Matt Ryan connected with Julio Jones to tie the game. Atlanta’s defense eventually made things uncomfortable for Wilson and Co., as the Falcons continued to turn it up on their way to clinch a berth in the NFC title game – their first since 2012.