As the number one seed, the Atlanta Falcons will host the lowest-seeded wild card winner from this weekend in the divisional round next Sunday.
The Washington Redskins have the number four seed; the Seattle Seahawks have the number five seed; the Minnesota Vikings have the number six seed.
I think the Falcons are better than all three teams, but they should have the “easiest” time with Minnesota. Although the Vikings have the potential MVP and far and away the best running back in the league in Adrian Peterson, they’re wholly one-dimensional. Granted, that one-dimension is really, really good; Peterson ran for 2,097 yards – just nine yards shy of breaking the record set by Eric Dickerson. Against the Falcons’ porous run defense, Peterson would probably have a field day.
With that said, Christian Ponder isn’t quite there yet as a quarterback. It’s obviously a passing league, so a quarterback putting up Ponder’s mediocre numbers – 300/483 for 2,935 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions – is alarming. Atlanta’s pass defense – a unit much better than the yardage ranking suggests – would likely prey on Ponder.
Atlanta’s sixth-ranked pass offense should be able to exploit Minnesota’s 24th-ranked pass defense. The Falcons just have too many weapons in the passing game.
Theoretically, the only thing the Falcons would need to do to secure their first playoff victory in eight years is “contain” Peterson. Of course, that’s much, much easier said than done.
But in order for this match-up to occur, the Vikings have to travel to Lambeau Field and defeat the Green Bay Packers tomorrow. Good luck with that.