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Atlanta Falcons focused on stopping Marshawn Lynch

The Seattle Seahawks operate an offense that beats teams in multiple ways, but Marshawn Lynch is their engine.

Stopping the bruising running back now becomes the task of the Atlanta Falcons in Sunday's divisional playoff game, something safety Thomas DeCoud doesn't take for granted.

"He loves contact. He loves breaking tackles. Marshawn has been the man since he was able to not wear diapers," DeCoud told The News Tribune. "He's a great, great, great, great football player."

Lynch is battling a foot injury, but he practiced Friday and should see plenty of action against a Falcons defense that's often vulnerable against the run. Atlanta's 4.8 yards allowed per rush is fourth worst in the NFL. In three losses this season, the Falcons have allowed 5.1, 6.1 and 4.8 yards per carry, according to, something the Seahawks will aim to take advantage of.

"He doesn't shy away from anything," Falcons defensive end Kroy Biermann said. "He's gonna get every yard he can. You can see he likes the game and loves to play it. We've got some guys like that on this team -- guys who are lucky to be playing a game and feel blessed to be doing something they love doing."

Lynch was a core cog in the Seahawks' wild-card win over the Washington Redskins, posting 132 yards on the ground and forcing six missed tackles.

Lynch has grown into a patient and instinctive performer behind Seattle's zone-blocking scheme, hitting holes with more power than last season and finding ways to extend plays. It's not a great matchup for the Falcons, but they'll need to overcome this weakness and shut down Lynch, or it could be a long day in the Georgia Dome.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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