The stage has been set.
At 1 p.m. ET Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons (13-3) will host the Seattle Seahawks (12-5) in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. The winner will face either the Green Bay Packers or San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
Led by Russell Wilson, the Seahawks have been one of the many darlings of the league in 2012. They are also the hottest team in the NFL not quarterbacked by Peyton Manning, winning eight of the last nine games, including Sunday's NFC Wild Card Game on the road against Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins.
Seattle's victory and hot streak might make them a sexy pick against a Falcons team that flopped in its first three tries in the playoffs under head coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan.
But, this year's flock of birds from the South aren't of the same breed.
While Atlanta's season has been seemingly ignored by the media because of its playoff failures in the past (because that makes sense), the Falcons have plenty of reason to be confident about this Sunday's marquee matchup under the big top.