NFL: Atlanta goal's to end playoff frustration, Seahawks look to extend winning streak

Charles Odum

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Jan. 12 2013 11:43 p.m. MST

The Falcons' offense has evolved in the five seasons under Smith, whose early teams featured Turner's runs. First-year offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter made this a pass-first offense with more screens and more big plays for Gonzalez and receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones.

Ryan set franchise marks with 4,719 yards passing and 32 touchdowns while completing 68.6 percent of his passes for another record.

With Ryan orchestrating the no-huddle attack, the Falcons have the ability for quick-strike big plays. It's a contrast to the Seahawks, who prefer to control the ball with powerful running back Marshawn Lynch, who set a career high and ranked third in NFL with 1,590 yards rushing.

"If we can hold the football, it's frustrating to an offense who wants to go fast," said Seattle coach Pete Carroll. "We're not trying to sit on the clock at all, but we're certainly committed to the running game. There is nothing better that we can do than to be making first downs and handling the football to keep them from being on the field. The best thing we could do is to keep them on the sideline, and the best way we can do that is to convert, and running gives us a great chance."

The Seahawks, only 3-5 on the road in the regular season, must make their second cross-country trip in as many weeks. According to STATS LLC, the only NFL West Coast team to win two games at East Coast sites in the same postseason was the 1989 Los Angeles Rams, who won at Philadelphia and the New York Giants.

Seattle lost sacks leader Chris Clemons to a knee injury last week. Rookie Bruce Irvin will start for Clemons, who had 11 1-2 sacks, at defensive end.

Losing Clemons is big for a defense that allowed only 203 yards — 99 passing and 104 rushing — against the Redskins.

"I think it's a matter of who can execute their system better than the other team at a higher level," said Seattle tight end Zach Miller. "It's going to come down to who is more on their game. We're similar type teams in that we don't turn the ball over. We don't make many mistakes."

Wilson said the playoffs are "time to do something special."

"Obviously we've got a tough seed in front of us," Wilson said. "We're going to Atlanta. It's going to be a hostile crowd. ... We just need to enjoy what it is and see what happens."

NFC playoffs

Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons

Georgia Dome, Atlanta

Today, 11 a.m. MT

TV: FOX Radio 1280 AMNFC playoffs

Seattle Seahawks at

Atlanta Falcons

Today, 11 a.m. MT

Georgia Dome, Atlanta

TV: FOX Radio: 1280 AM

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