(5) Seattle Seahawks at (1) Atlanta Falcons
Beating the Redskins in Washington will give the Seahawks some big-time momentum heading into a tilt with the top seeded team in the NFC, but it's going to be a tougher challenge this time around. Matt Ryan doesn't present a running threat like Robert Griffin III, but his arm is golden.
And with receivers like Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez to throw to, even the Seahawks defense might find themselves in a tough spot. If Seattle is going to pull another upset on the road, it will be due to a couple turnovers forced by the secondary.
Unless they bring a good game plan to disrupting Ryan's rhythm, the Seahawks are going to lose in Atlanta. They are a very good, up and coming team. But you have to win at home and on the road in this league. I don't see them doing it in the playoffs two weeks in a row.
Falcons 20 Seahawks 16
(3) Green Bay Packers at (2) San Francisco 49ers
A rematch of Week 1 of the regular season, except in San Francisco this time. For 49ers fans, the first game seems like years ago, as the offense is now under the command of Colin Kaepernick, and some once-reliable veterans (David Akers, Justin Smith, etc.) are either injured or slumping.
Since starting the season poorly, the Pack has really stepped it up, and was rolling before losing last week to Minnesota. After righting the ship with a big win against those same Vikings in the Wild Card round, the Packers are going to be a much more dangerous team than the first time these two met.
I hate going against conventional fandom, but objectivity is the name of the game in journalism, and I truly believe the Kaepernick-led Niners aren't consistent enough to beat Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, even at Candlestick Park. I think a close game is sealed when the San Francisco offense turns the ball over on the final drive.
Packers 31 49ers 27