One thing is obvious- the Seahawks miss Earl Thomas. Although the defense played well in the wildcard round, the missing piece in Earl will be noticed more and more. Heading into Atlanta to face one of the better offenses in the NFL, the Seahawks defense will have to be up to the task. On the other side, Atlanta looks like the real deal for the first time in years, and doing so under Dan Quinn (former Seahawks DL coach). Vic Beasley has truly blossomed into one of the premier pass rushing talents. Julio is a monster, and with complements like Sanu and Gabriel, Jones poses a serious threat (even without them he is a threat). My initial reaction to this game was to pick the Seahawks with superior experience, but without Thomas and facing a solid pass rush (which they have struggled with all year), Atlanta pulls this one out at home.
Verdict: Atlanta advances to the NFC Championship
Cowboys vs Packers
Another interesting matchup pits experience vs youth. The Packers offense is rolling, dropping 38 on a Giants defense that I thought, was elite. Meanwhile, the Cowboys offense prepares do what they have done all season: feed Zeke and control the clock. The Packers have proven they can score, but if they don’t have the ball in their hands it will be difficult. Another advantage for the Cowboys is how well they have played at home, this season they are 7-1 at home. The Packers meanwhile, struggled on the road going 4-4 in their away games. All things considered, this Dallas team has had a great season, but Aaron Rodgers will be tough to stop. If Green Bay commits to stopping the run the Packers should win.
Verdict: Packers advance to the NFC Championship
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