No one knew quite what to expect when the red hot Seattle Seahawks rolled into town. The Falcons were rested with a first-round bye after losing the final game of the regular season.
With the frenzied dome crowd behind them the Falcons continued to make big play after big play in the first half, jumping out to a 20-0 lead.
Atlanta took their first possession for a field goal and forced a three-and-out of Seattle, but a
Against the 10th-ranked run defense in the league, Atlanta's running game, a phase that was quiet for much of the season, dominated the first half. The Falcons got 133 rushing yards from
On the last play of the first quarter, Rodgers took a handoff and ran through, over and around numerous Seattle defenders as he gained 45 yards swiftly. It was the longest run of the second-year running back's career and it set a field goal by the Falcons.
The excitement didn't end with the Rodgers run. The Falcons stopped Seattle on a fourth-and-1 attempt from the Atlanta 11-yard line to hold on to the first-half shutout. In his first game back after missing the final five of the regular season,
With the ball back in their hands, the Atlanta offense began to take the momentum and use it to go deep down the field. Ryan hit Roddy White for a 47-yard touchdown, connecting with the receiver as he stepped into the end zone to extend the Falcons' lead to 20-0. The touchdown reception by White was his third career postseason TD, tying him for the franchise lead.
Atlanta’s defense controlled Seattle's efforts on offense for much of the first quarter, coming up particular big on third downs and inside the redzone. The Falcons held Seattle to 1-of-5 conversions on third down and 0-for-2 inside the red zone. While the Falcons only sacked Seattle QB Russell Wilson once, they got pressure to him repeatedly and kept Seattle from running the game plan they want. They held the Seattle running game to 58 yards, including just 27 from Lynch.