I want to do what I can to get as many Twelves down to Georgia this weekend, to back the Seahawks as they play the Falcons for a chance to go to the NFC Championship Game, so here's a quick preview article from Field Gulls' partner TiqIQ, with important and ticket pricing data and offers. If you're on the fence about making the trip or not, it's worth noting that ticket costs are still ridiculously low (relative to here, anyway) and there's still a whole bunch of seats to be filled.
It would be great to have a 12th Man presence this weekend down there. Here's Dan Groob.
Shortest QB in rookie class stands tallest among peers; Wilson set to take on NFC's top seed
By Dan Groob, TiqIQ
First overall pick Andrew Luck may have led the biggest turnaround in NFL history and broken the rookie passing yardage record. Second overall pick Robert Griffin III may have broken both the rookie QBR and QB rushing yardage records. But it is 75th overall pick Russell Wilson who will be playing for a trip to the NFC Championship game this Sunday in Atlanta.
Consistently nitpicked throughout his career for being undersized, it appears, finally, that Wilson has put the height narrative to bed. In fact, Wilson has come up huge in pretty much every big game this season. In seven regular season games against opponents with a record of .500 or better (Dallas, Green Bay, New England, San Francisco (twice), Minnesota, and Chicago), Wilson registered a QB rating worse than 99.3 only once, a Thursday night tilt at San Francisco on short rest. Last night against Washington, Wilson was at it again, this time posting a QB rating of 92.9 with timely throws, while also picking up key first downs with his legs as well.
It was, however, a key block downfield on Marshawn Lynch's go-ahead touchdown run that best exemplifies what Russell Wilson contributes to this Seahawks team. As Lynch broke through an arm tackle at the line of scrimmage and bounced to the outside, Wilson took off down the sideline. Flashing his 4.5 speed, Wilson sprinted past Lynch towards Redskins cornerback, Josh Wilson. Disrupting Wilson's balance and forcing him toward the sideline, Seattle's Wilson created space for Lynch to cut back in and square up to blast through safety Madieu Williams for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown.
Though it garnered far less attention, Wilson had a strikingly similar block downfield on a Lynch cutback run during the first play of the second half, leading to a 28-yard gain. It is perhaps this earlier play that best exemplifies the type of energy and no-quit attitude that Wilson has used to prop up his team all season long, despite limited fanfare.
While Washington had allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards per game during the regular season, Lynch and Wilson were able to gouge their typically stout defense to the tune of 199 yards on just 28 carries. This week, they take on an Atlanta defense that allowed a whopping 4.8 yards per carry, fourth worst in the NFL. Look for more of the same from Seattle on offense, as they continue to work in the Wilson/Lynch zone read, and also use it to set up some play action shots downfield.
On the other side of the ball, this is not a good matchup for the Atlanta Falcons offense. Atlanta has done most of their damage through the air this year, with Matt Ryan passing for a career high 4,719 yards and 32 touchdowns. The passing game was much needed for the Falcons, as Michael Turner plodded his way to a paltry 800 yards on 222 carries, his 3.6 yards per carry ranked dead last among those who finished in the top 26 in rush yards.
One would expect Atlanta to finally take the kid gloves off Ryan in the playoffs much like they did during the regular season, and tell him to go and win this game. Ryan will, however, certainly face a tough test against a Seattle defense that ranked 3rd in YPA, 6th in total pass yards allowed, and 8th in interceptions.
According to the secondary market ticket analytic folks at TiqIQ, Seattle Seahawks tickets were one of the biggest home draws in the NFL this year with an average ticket price of $293. This figure actually rose 32% from the start of the year, when the average ticket cost $199 on the secondary market. The trip to Atlanta might actually be worth it for Seahawks fans, as tickets to the Georgia Dome for Sunday's game check in at just $195, only 27% above the Atlanta Falcons tickets regular season average of $153.
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