ATLANTA >> The Atlanta Falcons advanced to the NFC championship game for the fourth time in franchise history, beating the Seattle Seahawks 36-20 in the NFC divisional playoff game today.
Matt Ryan threw for 334 yards and three touchdowns as Atlanta won just its second playoff game since 2004. Atlanta last played in the NFC title game four years ago, losing to San Francisco at home. The Falcons will face either Dallas or Green Bay in the NFC championship game next Sunday.
The Falcons used a 19-point second quarter to take a 19-10 halftime lead and added a pair of touchdowns in the second half, capped by Ryan’s 3-yard TD to Mohamed Sanu with 3:40 remaining.
Seattle lost in the divisional round for the second straight year and the Seahawks have not won a road game in this round of the postseason since 1983.
Russell Wilson threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns, but also fell in the end zone for a safety and threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter. Seattle started quick, taking a 10-7 lead, but never recovered from a momentum-changing penalty on a punt return in the second quarter that sparked Atlanta’s surge.