USA TODAY Sports
There's one team who represents Atlanta's best chance for success.
The Atlanta Falcons have this weekend off, but that doesn't mean they wont be watching this weekend's games intently. In two NFC contests, there's one team that Atlanta should hope to see.
There's only one team the Falcons are guaranteed not to see -- the Green Bay Packers. Atlanta will face the lowest seed to win this weekend, regardless of match-up, ensuring the third-seed Packers will not visit the Georgia dome next week. That leaves either the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, or Washington Redskins. No option is perfect, but it's the Vikings who the Falcons should hope to see.
Coming off a win against the Green Bay Packers, and potentially beating them twice in two weeks -- the risk of Adrian Peterson have a field day on the Georgia Dome turf is a real risk. Atlanta's run defense are allowing 4.8 yards per carry, and AP's knack for amassing over 200 yards of offense by himself is uncanny. However, given the alternatives it's still their best bet. The Vikings have a weak secondary, especially when compared with the Seattle Seahawks. This would allow Matt Ryan and co. to get out to an early lead, forcing Christian Ponder to try and beat them with his arm.
The issue with Washington is their overall run game. While they don't have a single player like Adrian Peterson, they run the ball extremely well with Alfred Morris and Robert Griffin III -- that's not a good match-up for Atlanta. As many yards as the Falcons have given up per carry, the possibility of opening up the play-action pass is too much of a risk.
If you're an Atlanta Falcons' fan, watch on Saturday. The sixth seed Vikings represent the best bet for Atlanta to make it though to the conference championship.