January 14, 2017, Atlanta: Falcons running back Devonta Freeman picks up a long gain against Seahawks Steven Terrell during the second half in a NFL football NFC divisional playoff game on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons’ offensive line turns in strong game

The Falcons’ offensive line stepped up to the challenge against Seattle.

Because the Seahawks held the Falcons to 52 yards rushing on 18 carries in their regular-season meeting Oct. 16, the Falcons needed to run the ball to get their offense moving.

The line paved the way for running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, who combined for 102 yards rushing on 25 carries and one touchdown.

Freeman rushed 14 times for 45 yards Saturday, and Coleman had 11 carries for 57 yards.

“In that first game we were still trying to figure out who we were and our identity as an offense,” right guard Chris Chester said. “Up until that point, we’d done some good things. I think over the past four weeks we’ve increased our efficiency as an offense.”

With the Falcons holding a 19-10 lead, the offensive line came out to start the third quarter and helped to power a touchdown drive that broke open the game. On the 75-yard touchdown drive, the Falcons ran eight times for 44 yards, and Freeman capped the drive up with a 1-yard touchdown run.

“We had close to 100 yards rushing,” quarterback Matt Ryan said. “In the second half our offensive line really got it going, and our running backs were able to get in there behind them and run effectively and physically. Our guys were physical the entire day.

“We have to give credit to our offensive line, they really got us going.”

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