Wilson’s lightning-quick development into a superstar was probably the biggest surprise in the entire NFL this season, and the Seattle defense’s failure against Atlanta in the playoffs had to be a close second.
After playing a complete dud of a game in the first half, the Hawks rallied behind Russell Wilson to take the lead — and then gave it up in a loss that was both heartbreaking and encouraging.
With leading sacker Chris Clemons out for the rest of the playoffs, the Seahawks need Irvin, their first-round pick, to step up and bring Matt Ryan down.
Seattle needs to pressure Matt Ryan, stop his star receiving duo of Julio Jones and Roddy White, run the ball like they have all season and score touchdowns in the red zone.
Seattle’s defensive coordinator seemingly hates to blitz on the road — the Hawks rarely do it. But if they are going to get some pressure on Ryan, he is going to have to pull the trigger.
Matt Ryan is still looking for his first playoff win, and he will have to continue his great play if he is going to get it against a streaking Seattle team.
Ryan Longwell reportedly will take over kicking duties for the injured Steven Hauschka, and the Hawks have replaced Chris Clemons for now. But they need to address kicker and the pass rush more permanently after the season.
The loss of Clemons against Washington means Irvin, the team’s surprise first-round pick, must step up against Atlanta.
The Seattle Seahawks overcame a 14-0 deficit and a poor performance in the red zone to knock off the Washington Redskins and move on to play the Atlanta Falcons next Sunday.
No matter what they do in these playoffs, the Seahawks are built for long-term success and will be a factor for years to come.