This may come as a surprise, but I am not an Atlanta Falcons fan. It's nothing personal. Well, maybe a little. But it's pretty hard to like any division rival, and the Falcons just tend to push my buttons. I don't like Roddy White, I think their move up for Julio Jones was stupid, I think Matt Ryan is a limited quarterback, I think their pass rush is nonexistent outside of John Abraham, I think Michael Turner is horrible and their offensive line can't hold up in pass protection.
Despite all that, they keep winning. And that just pisses me off, because I hate being wrong. Just lose already, like you have done in the playoffs since forever, Falcons! Please confirm my internal narrative that you can beat bad teams (by small margins this year) but can't hold up against good teams. Please let me get a little bit of joy out of a fifth season of no Tampa Bay playoffs, which is starting to get really really old. The Seahawks kind of look like a team who could do it. They have outstanding cornerbacks, good safeties, a (formerly?) decent pass rush, a dominant running game and a surprisingly good quarterback. It's just that this game is in Atlanta, the Seahawks aren't nearly as good on the road and the Falcons are really, really good at home.
Still, Seahawks. Please just beat the Falcons. If not for your sake, then do it for mine.
Oh, and I guess there are some other games on tap next weekend. Ravens vs. Broncos and Texans vs. Patriots seem to be the perfect matchups to end with yet another Brady vs. Manning playoff game for the AFC Championship. And 49ers vs. Packers should be great: explosive offense versus good defense.
Saturday, Jan. 12
Ravens vs. Broncos, 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Packers vs. 49ers, 8 p.m. ET, FOX
Sunday, Jan. 13
Seahawks vs. Falcons, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Texans vs. Patriots, 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS