ATLANTA (AP) — The Falcons' defense made a fourth-down stop to set up Matt Ryan's second touchdown pass and then delivered another stop as the first half ended to preserve a 20-0 lead over Seattle in Sunday's NFC divisional playoff game.
Ryan threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Roddy White in the second quarter to stretch the lead to 20-0.
The Falcons' defense then stiffened after Russell Wilson moved the Seahawks to a first down at the Atlanta 6. Wilson threw incomplete passes to Sidney Rice and Golden Tate as Seattle used all its timeouts. On third down from the 11, Wilson was sacked by Jonathan Babineaux and time expired before the rookie quarterback could attempt a fourth-down pass.
Ryan, who threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Tony Gonzalez in the first quarter, threw deep over the middle to White for his second scoring pass. Cornerback Richard Sherman fell down while attempting to cover White, and safety Kam Chancellor was too late in providing help.
Falcons fans chanted "Roddy! Roddy!" as officials returned to the field following their review to announce the touchdown call was confirmed.
The long touchdown pass came after a fourth-down stop by the Falcons' defense deep in Atlanta territory.
Wilson completed a 34-yard pass to tight end Zach Miller and added a 16-yard pass to Tate to push the Seahawks deep into Atlanta territory in the second quarter.
Robert Turbin was stopped on third-and-1 from the Falcons 11. On fourth down, Wilson handed to fullback Michael Robinson, who was dropped by Falcons safety Charles Mitchell for a 1-yard loss.
The Falcons overcame an interception by Ryan by taking advantage of a fumble by Seattle's Marshawn Lynch.
Ryan's pass for Gonzalez was intercepted by Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, giving Seattle possession at its 33 midway through the quarter.
On first down from the 50, Lynch fumbled when hit by linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. Babineaux recovered at the Atlanta 39 to set up the touchdown drive. Wagner was penalized for a horse-collar tackle on Turner, moving the Falcons to the Seattle 29.
Ryan completed a 16-yard pass to backup tight end Chase Coffman to the 1, setting up the touchdown pass to Gonzalez.
The Falcons held the ball for 11 plays on their opening drive, moving to the Seahawks 21. Ryan completed a 13-yard pass to White on the first third-down play of the drive. Sherman made a last-second deflection on Ryan's pass for White in the end zone on third down from the 21, setting up Matt Bryant's 39-yard field goal.
Atlanta had success running the ball on the drive with Michael Turner, who had a 15-yard gain on his first run, and Jacquizz Rodgers, who had runs of 7 and 6 yards.
The Seahawks trailed 14-0 before rallying in last week's 24-14 victory over Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins in the opening round of the playoffs.
Rodgers broke through the Seattle line for a 45-yard run, the longest of his career, on the final play of the first quarter. The 11-play drive stalled at the Seahawks 19, setting up a 37-yard field goal by Bryant for a 13-0 lead.
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