In the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, the number one seeded Atlanta Falcons went head-to-head against the up-and-coming Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks were only slight underdogs heading into this matchup with arguably the best team in the NFC with the Falcons having the advantage of playing at the Georgia Dome in front of their fans.
With the Falcons as good as any team in the league on their home field, Atlanta was thought to potentially make easy work for Russell Wilson and company, but that didn’t turn out to be the case despite an early 20-point lead.
The Seahawks countered the 20-point first half lead by the Falcons with an offensive explosion in the second half. Atlanta scored 10 points in the second half, but Seattle put 28 points on the board and almost pulled off the win if it weren’t for a game-winning field goal by Matt Bryant.
Four-time Pro Bowler Roddy White talked about the Falcons falling apart in the second half of last week’s game claiming the team got lazy via Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports:
“I felt like in the first half we did a heck of a job, just coming out with attitude and executing at a high level,” White said. “We got a little lazy in the second half. We kind of got too complacent, too relaxed. You can’t do that in the playoffs. Every series matters. You can’t have lulls, man.”
It’s hard to argue with White’s comments here as the Falcons’ defense collapsed in the second half and as a result the team almost let a chance to advance to the NFC Championship game slip through their fingers.
With the win over the Seahawks in the books, perennial Pro Bowler Tony Gonzalez and Matt Ryan were able to record their first playoffs wins of their career. It remains to be seen whether or not this team can continue to play consistently well moving forward, but the defense cannot have a repeat performance against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.