NFL Playoff Schedule: Why Two Home Teams Should Be on Upset Alert

Jeremy Fuchs@@jaf78Correspondent IIIJanuary 7, 2013

Matt Ryan
Matt RyanScott Cunningham/Getty Images

Three of the four home teams won in the Wild Card weekend, and that was somewhat expected. Some teams looked completely overmatched out of their home element. 

But this week, that should change. In fact, on this weekend of the NFL Playoffs, home teams should be on upset alert.

Let's start with the one road team to win this weekend, the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks beat the Redskins on the strength of strong play from Russell Wilson and a stellar defense.

The Atlanta Falcons, this weekend's opponent, had a terrific season, going 13-3 and blowing out most of the competition. But they have a lot of qualities that suggest their winning ways may be a bit of a fluke.

Matt Ryan threw for 32 touchdowns but also 14 interceptions, including five against the Arizona Cardinals and three against the Oakland Raiders, both pitiable defenses.

Ryan and Atlanta benefited from a weak schedule, with their toughest opponent being the Denver Broncos, who they beat in Week 2. The Broncos were not the defensive force they are now.

So Ryan's numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. Seattle has a fantastic defense, giving up only 203.1 yards through the air and only 103.1 yards on the ground.

Seattle has a fine chance of going into Atlanta and shocking a lot of people.

Another home team that should be on high alert is the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers did beat the Green Bay Packers in Week 1, but things have changed since then.

For starters, the 49ers have a new quarterback in Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick, who has been dazzling fans with his high-powered arm and speedy legs, is still inexperienced and will undoubtedly struggle in his first postseason game.

The Packers, on the other hand, are coming off a convincing victory against the Minnesota Vikings, and Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the game. While the 49ers possess a terrific defense, Rodgers did throw for 303 yards and two touchdowns against them in Week 1. 

In the end, it will come down to which quarterback can get the job done. Rodgers is much more qualified to play better under pressure and will do so in this matchup.