Here are eight notes, nuggets and numbers you need to know heading into the matchup:
With Seattle’s win over the Redskins in the Wild Card round, Russell Wilson became just the sixth rookie quarterback in NFL history to win a playoff game. Of the previous five, only Mark Sanchez (2009) and Joe Flacco (2008) were able to win a second playoff game that season.
HOME SWEET HOME
Including the postseason, Matt Ryan is 33-6 in his career at home as a starter. The Patriots (36) and the Ravens (35) are the only teams in the NFL with more home wins since he entered the league in 2008.
No. 1 CURSE?
The Falcons earned the No. 1 seed in the playoffs for the second time in franchise history (also 2010), but that hasn’t been a good thing in recent years. The NFC’s No. 1 seed has lost in the Divisional round in four of the last five seasons after going a perfect 17-0 in the Divisional round between 1990 and 2006.
Russell Wilson has six touchdown passes and no interceptions in his last four road games including one in Seattle’s Wild Card win over the Redskins (3-1 W-L). Wilson had four touchdowns and eight interceptions in his first five games on the road (1-4 W-L).
Worst Postseason Record All-Time
The Falcons have lost four straight playoff games since defeating the Rams in the 2004 Divisional round and are just 6-11 in the postseason all-time. Only the Bengals (.313) have a lower winning percentage than the Falcons (.353) in NFL playoff history.
The Falcons have won three straight games against the Seahawks after going 2-8 in the first 10 meetings between teams all-time. Sunday will be the first meeting in Atlanta since the 2007 regular season finale on December 30, 2007, a game won by the Falcons, 44-41.
BEAST MODE CLIMBING RECORD BOOKS
Marshawn Lynch tied a Seahawks postseason record with 132 rushing yards in the Wild Card round against the Redskins. It was his fifth straight 100-yard game and 11th such game of the season, one shy of Shaun Alexander’s single-season franchise mark of 12 set in 2005. That season, the Seahawks advanced to the Super Bowl before falling to the Steelers.
Since Mike Smith and Matt Ryan joined the team in 2008, the Falcons have the NFL’s second-best record in the regular season (56-24) but are 0-3 in the playoffs. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that with a loss Sunday, Matt Ryan will join Y.A. Tittle as the only QBs in NFL history to lose each of their first four postseason starts.