Russell Wilson is set to teach Matt Ryan a lesson in exceeding expectations on Sunday, when the Seahawks’ rookie QB wins his second playoff game and takes Seattle one step closer to the Super Bowl.
Wilson is proving to be among the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and he has the opportunity to showcase his skills in what’s sure to be an offensive showdown against the Atlanta Falcons.
Despite road struggles and the Falcons’ impressive record in the Georgia Dome, Seattle has a chance to turn this game into yet another rout.
While the Seahawks defense will play a factor, sure to capitalize on the crowd’s frenetic energy within the Dome, quarterback play will be a deciding factor in this game.
Ryan might have the nickname "Matty Ice," but Wilson would dethrone him of that title if his name rhymed more cleverly. "Russy Ice" just doesn’t have the same ring to it. But Wilson’s pocket poise, his ability to make throws under pressure and his quick feet make him a potent threat.
The Falcons defense has only given up five passing TDs and have the fifth-best red-zone defense. However, they still rank 24th in total defense.
Wilson doesn’t need to throw it in to score. The Seahawks rank second in red-zone efficiency for the season, only behind the Houston Texans. Once they make the trip downfield, it’s all but certain they’re hitting pay dirt.
But Wilson has shown poise and mobility in high-pressure situations, as evident in victories over the Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers and last week against the Washington Redskins, in which they came back from a 14-point deficit.
And Wilson has already achieved something not even Ryan has in his own illustrious career: he’s won a playoff game.
The NFC’s best team is 0-3 in the playoffs under Ryan and coach Mike Smith, including last year’s 24-2 blowout loss to the New York Giants.
Seattle has victories over each team in the playoffs this year that they faced in the regular season, including the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and 49ers.
Wilson has done more to prove himself than both Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. He’s going to take it one step further when he gives Ryan his seventh loss at home.