As Don Ruiz of The New Tribune writes today, Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin still is using folks who doubt his ability as fuel.
And the rookie, first-round draft pick out of West Virginia will get an opportunity to show what he can do on a big stage, getting his first start in an NFC divisional mach-up in his hometown of Atlanta.
Irvin will start for Chris Clemons, who went on the injured reserve with a torn ACL knee injury.
“It’s a dream come true,” he said. “A lot of family is going to be watching. A lot of people who know me are going to be around. The stage is set, pretty much for me. I’m just going to do what I always do: bust my butt, play hard and run to the football.”
John McGrath of The News Tribune, reporting from Atlanta, says that the Falcons’ defense has Marshawn Lynch on their minds. “He loves contact. He loves breaking tackles. Marshawn has been the man since he was able to not wear diapers,” said Atlanta safety Thomas DeCoud, who played against Lynch in high school in Oakland and was a teammate at Cal. “He’s a great, great, great, great football player.”
Kenny Via of The News Tribune offers a 12-question quiz to test your level of commitment to the 12th Man.
Albert Breer of The NFL Network is reporting that Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley will interview with Philadelphia today for that team’s vacant head coaching job, and Darrell Bevell will do the same with Chicago. Both interviews will take place in Atlanta.
Danny O’Neil of The Seattle Times writes that the matchup between Seattle’s physical corners and Atlanta’s big receivers will be one of the things to watch for Sunday’s game.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com writes that Marcus Trufant is looking to add to his playoff memories.
Donovan McNabb is the only analyst who picks the Seahawks over the Falcons in this NFL Playbook video link.
Jim Moore of 710 ESPN Seattle takes the Seahawks 34-31 over the Falcons. Moore is 14-3 against the spread in predicting Seahawks games this season.
Art Thiel of Sportspressnw.com writes that the Seahawks under Pete Carroll have finally molded into a playoff contender after a whirlwind of moves in the first two year’s of Carroll’s tenure.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports wonders if Seattle’s corners are up to the challenge of facing Atlanta’s big receivers. Prisco: “Sherman and Browner are great man-cover players. Sherman was the NFL’s best corner this season. Both play a tough, physical style. But White and Jones excel against man coverage. They see a ton of doubles, so they will love to see the single coverage — even against great cover players. Look for the Falcons to attack down the field. White and Jones will get some big plays.”