All-Pro quarterback Matt Ryan, a leading MVP contender, and wideout Julio Jones put up NFC South champion Atlanta's high-powered offense against NFC West champion Seattle's "Legion of Boom" defense, which is missing injured safety Earl Thomas but still features Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor.
In the first meeting — a 26-24 loss against Seattle in Week 6 — Ryan threw for three TDs, while Jones finished with seven catches for 139 yards and a score. But most memorable was an incompletion on fourth down with 90 seconds left, when Sherman grabbed Jones' arm on a deep pass. Definitely a 1-on-1 matchup to keep an eye on this time.
Also worth monitoring: How Atlanta's so-so defense deals with Seattle's offense, which seemed reborn as Thomas Rawls ran for 161 yards in a 26-6 win over Detroit in the wild-card round. Falcons head coach Dan Quinn used to be Seattle's defensive coordinator.
"Such a hard-nosed, tough coach, and his team embodies him out there," Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett said. "It's like playing ourselves."