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Divisional Round: Seahawks at Falcons Picks & Predictions

Check out which side the national media is predicting to win Saturday's Divisional Round playoff game between the Seahawks and Falcons.

The Seahawks are in Atlanta for a Divisional Round playoff game against the Falcons on Saturday at the Georgia Dome, where kickoff is set for 1:35 p.m. PT with national television coverage on FOX (channel 13 in Seattle).

Here's a look at which side the national media is predicting to win the January 14 matchup:

Sheil Kapadia at predicts a 27-20 win for the Falcons, "This feels like a game in which the Seahawks' defense will really miss safety Earl Thomas. The Falcons produced 69 pass plays of 20-plus yards in the regular season, third most in the NFL. Seattle's defense played well in the wild-card round against the Lions, but facing Matt Ryan, Julio Jones & Co. will be a much bigger challenge. Offensively, the run game needs a repeat performance from last week, when Thomas Rawls ran for 161 yards. Defensively, the pass rush has to dominate. In the end, this looks like a matchup in which Seattle just has too much to overcome."

Vaughn McClure at also picks Atlanta to win by seven, 35-28, "Certainly Matt Ryan is sick of people talking about his 1-4 postseason record. The likely league MVP is in a rhythm and has the Falcons averaging 35 points per game at home. Playing a Seahawks team without Earl Thomas, the Falcons should be able to hit big plays inside the Georgia Dome. Not to mention the Falcons are much healthier on offense, with star receiver Julio Jones looking much more explosive off a toe sprain, speedy wideout Taylor Gabriel back from an ankle/toe injury and rookie tight end Austin Hooper back from a sprained MCL. The Falcons might not be able to stop Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, but they can certainly outscore them."

Elliot Harrison at likes the Falcons to win 24-20, "You can count on one hand how many games since Y2K were better than the 2012 Divisional Round matchup between these two teams. That was Russell Wilson's rookie year -- and he will once again be hugely important in this showdown. More important than Thomas Rawls? Probably not. If Rawls and the Seahawks play clockball to counter Atlanta's explosive offense, then the limited pitches forMatt Ryan will play into Pete Carroll's hands. More important might be Richard Sherman's ability to travel across the formation with Julio Jones, or else limiting possessions could mean little."

Pete Prisco at predicts a double-digit win for the Falcons, 31-17, "The two teams met in Seattle in the regular season and the Seahawks won 26-24, but the Falcons rallied in the second half behind the play of their passing game. I think that's the big issue here for Seattle. Can they cover well enough without Earl Thomas in the deep middle? I don't think they can. The Falcons scored 540 points this season to lead the league as Matt Ryan appears on his way to the MVP. The Seahawks looked good beating Detroit in the Wild-card round, but this is a big step up in opponent. Russell Wilson might be forced to win a shootout here with Ryan. I just don't think that happens. The Falcons get to the title game."

Michael David Smith at sees the Falcons winning 30-20, "The Seahawks' defense played well in shutting down the Lions last week, but the Falcons' offense is a different animal. Matt Ryan played at an MVP level all season, and Julio Jones when healthy is the best receiver in the league. I'd like Seattle's chances better if Earl Thomas were playing, but as it stands I'm having a hard time seeing the Seahawks' secondary keeping the Falcons' passing game in check."

Mike Florio at predicts a three-point win for Atlanta, 24-21, "Seattle's offense instantly becomes more diversified with a potentThomas Rawls and a healthy C.J. Prosise. But will that be enough against a Falcons offense that is as good as it's ever been, with 9.3 average yards per pass and Matt Ryan performing at an MVP level? Ryan has struggled in past postseasons, but he's never had a season like the one he had in 2016. With a defense that has improved quickly under head coach Dan Quinn, the Falcons can close out the Georgia Dome (unless Green Bay wins on Sunday) with a victory."

Vinnie Iyer at Sporting News expects to see a shootout at the Georgia Dome, predicting a 33-29 Falcons win, "Welcome back, Seahawks' beast-mode running game, thanks to Thomas Rawls' best game of the year in the wild-card win over Detroit. So the Lions' defense was the culprit there, you say? Against the run, they and the Falcons are pretty much the same team statistically. On the other hand, the way Ryan is playing, and with the Seahawks' secondary still vulnerable at times, Russell Wilson's status as the far-superior postseason performer could be moot."

David Steele at Sporting News also sees a shootout coming in Atlanta, but takes the Seahawks to win 30-27, "The Falcons, however, are without top corner Desmond Trufant for this one, giving both Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham solid matchups. The Seahawks' offensive line is coming off its best performance, springing Rawls in the wild-card round. Atlanta is a weaker run defense, and Wilson will be comfortable against its front seven to take favorable deep shots. The home team stays close to its league-best scoring from the regular season, but Seattle takes the shootout on the road."

Two of the eight experts at are taking the Seahawks to win this weekend.

As of this writing, two of the eight experts polled at are picking the Seahawks to win.

And two of five writers at USA Today predict a Seattle victory.

Gearing up for our playoff game against the Falcons on Saturday, here's a look at our Divisional Round matchups through the years.

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