Matt Ryan, Tony Gonzalez win first career playoff game as Falcons defeat Seahawks


By James Williams 

The Atlanta Falcons hold off the Seattle Seahawks’ second half rally to win, 30-28, in a NFC divisional playoff game at the Georgia Dome on Jan. 13th, 2013.

Falcons’ kicker Matt Bryant made the go-ahead 49-yard field goal with 13 seconds remaining to regain the lead after the Seahawks took their first lead of the game at 28-27 with 31 seconds left in the 4th quarter.

The first lead did not come easy for the Seahawks as they had to rally back from a 20-point deficit in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks were also down 20-0 at halftime before scoring their first touchdown in the third quarter.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had 250 passing yards and three touchdowns against the Seahawks’ defense for his first career playoff win.

With the Falcons win, 16-year veteran and tight end Tony Gonzalez also won his first career postseason game. Gonzalez is expected to retire after the season.

Gonzalez finished the night with six catches for 51 yards and a touchdown.

The Seahawks rallied behind rookie quarterback Russell Wilson and the play action offense in the second half.

The Seahawks put up 21 fourth quarter points in their second divisional round appearance since the 2010-11 playoffs. Both of which resulted in losses for the Seahawks.

Wilson set a postseason record for the most passing yards by a rookie with 385 yards. He also had two touchdowns and one interception.

The interception came on a Hail Mary pass, as the final seconds of the game winded down and the Seahawks looked for a miracle touchdown to take the victory, after the Falcons scored their only points of the quarter with Bryant’s field goal for the lead.

The pass was caught in the end zone by Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who was playing defense on that final play to try to catch the ball like he did to end the game.

Seahawks tight end Zach Miller played an important role for the offense, catching all eight passes thrown his way for 142 yards and one touchdown.

The Falcons defense did manage to force a quiet night for running back Marshawn Lynch, who is a featured part of the Seahawks’ offense.

Lynch was held to 46 rushing yards on 16 carries but did manage to find the end zone for a touchdown.

With the victory in Atlanta, the Falcons improve to 7-1 in home games this season and will move on to play against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game.

The 49ers defeated the Green Bay Packers on Jan. 12th to move on to the NFC championship game.

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