SEATTLE – If you love to hate doubters, this is the story for you.
Very few people in the national media are picking the Seattle Seahawks to beat the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday at the Georgia Dome. (The game kicks off at 1:35 p.m., with coverage beginning at 6 a.m. on the home of the Seahawks, Q13 FOX.)
A review of some of the major sports websites shows two of eight ESPN experts picking the Seahawks; one of nine at SB Nation; and two of eight at CBS Sports.
Bettors aren’t much more optimistic – the Seahawks started out as 3.5 underdogs, but the spread has grown to 5 as people continued to bet on the Falcons.
Still, there are of course a few people picking the Seahawks to pull off the upset.
Vinnie Iyer at the Sporting News liked what he saw last week when the Seahawks defeated the Detroit Lions:
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.
After an impressive performance against the Lions, the Seahawks head east to face a Falcons team that is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2012. This will be a close game, but Seattle's playoff experience wins out. The Seahawks won't go home on divisional weekend for the second straight year. Seahawks 31, Falcons 28.
This time around, the Seahawks aren't going to have (Earl) Thomas, which means (Matt) Ryan might just throw nine touchdown passes. I don't think he will, but I'm not going to pretend like it can't happen. The Seahawks losing Thomas is like the brakes going out on your car the night before you're about to take a cross-country trip. Sure, you can still drive, but without brakes, you're going to have to avoid hills, stop signs, red lights and small children. Basically, you're going to have to change your entire thinking, just like the Seahawks have had to do on defense without Thomas.