NFL 

NFC Divisional Round Preview

Its down to four teams on the NFC side of things as the Dallas Cowboys host Aaron Rodgers and the GreenBay Packers, while the Atlanta Falcons take on the Seattle Seahawks. Both matchups are rematches from the regular season, today is a chance to play for the right to advance to the NFC championship game next Sunday.

Seattle Seahawks vs Falcons (-4.5) 

Saturday, January 14, 4:35 PM on FOX

Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia

These two teams met back in Week 6,with the Seahawks pulling out a  26-24 comeback victory at Home. Steven Hauschka’s 44-yard field goal with 1:57 remaining capped the 20th career fourth quarter or overtime comeback for Russell Wilson. The game was a close one which ended with a controversial no-call on Richard Sherman defending Atlanta’s Julio Jones on fourth down.

The Seahawks have the means for an upset win over the Atlanta Falcons in this week’s NFC Divisional showdown, but several key things have changed since the first meeting. The Seahawks will be without star safety Earl Thomas, and play maker Tyler Lockett who are both out for the season out for the season, C.J. Prosise will also be missing in action. On a positive note, Russell Wilson is fully healthy and the offensive line has found its way.

For the Falcons, Vic Beasley was held sack-less in the first meeting. Things have changed since then as he has turned into one of the game’s dominant pass rushers, finishing the regular season as the NFL’s sack leader with 15.5 on the season. The defense has improved tremendously with rookie combo of Keanu Neal and Deion Jones standing out along with Beasley and Brent Grimes .The Falcons felt they were the better team back in Week 6 and have a chance to prove it Sunday.

 

(-4) Cowboys vs Packers 

Sunday, January 15, 4:40 PM on FOX

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

These two teams also met back in Week 6, with the Cowboys getting a 30-16 road win. Dak Prescott threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns without Dez Bryant. The Cowboys defense forced four turnovers in the game, Green Bay didn’t even score a touchdown until Rodgers and Cobb connected on a 6-yard touchdown pass with 6:53 left in the contest.

Similar to the Atlanta-Seattle matchup, both teams are different from their first meeting. Aaron Rodgers seems to be over his early struggles, as of now he’s on fire having thrown 22 TDs with no interceptions in the last 8 games.  The Packers will be without the reliable Jordy Nelson who was hurt in their win over the Giants last weekend. James Starks (concussion) and C/G JC Tretter (knee) have also been ruled out. Look for Jared Cook (Tight End) to pick up the slack left by Jordy Nelson’s absence with his ability to line up out wide as well as in-line. It’ll be a great matchup between him and Cowboys Safety Byron Jones.

Dallas on the other hand, has a rested offensive line that can control the line of scrimmage. Ezekiel Elliott proved his worth over the course of the regular season.. The defense is fully healthy as DeMarcus Lawrence (back) and Morris Claiborne (groin) return to the fold. Both Players are big factors in the Dallas defense. The Cowboys got the win on the road against a not white-hot Aaron Rodgers, it definitely doesn’t hurt for them to be playing this one in front of their home crowd.

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