Taken individually, Roddy White and Julio Jones rank among the NFLs elite at wide receiver.
As a tandem, Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman doesnt know if there is a better duo.
As a tandem, theyre probably the top tandem out there, Sherman said. Its going to be a tough matchup for us, but its fun to play against good players.
Todays NFC divisional playoff game between Seattle and Atlanta will feature a fascinating matchup between Sherman and fellow Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner and the Falcons receiving duo of White and Jones.
Its the big, physical cornerbacks of the Seahawks, who because of their skills allow Seattles defense to be unique against the big, physical and fast receivers who make the Falcons offense go.
I expect our guys to try to play like they always play. They dont need to change anything because were not doing anything different; were going to try and hang with them, and well find out what happens, Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. This is probably the best pair and pair that you could match up, and because of the size and because of their physical nature in the way that they play, its going to be really exciting to see.
While neither was the Falcons leading receiver that honor went to tight end Tony Gonzalez White and Jones are coming off excellent regular seasons. White had more catches with 92 versus Jones 79. Jones caught more touchdowns with 10 compared to Whites seven. They combined for more than 2,500 yards receiving.
But Browner and Sherman were stars on the defensive side. They combined for 11 interceptions despite Browner missing four games due to suspension and 30 passes defensed, with 24 of those by Sherman.
Whoever wins those matchups likely wont be the most important element in todays game. But it could be the most entertaining.
Everybody is talking about it, Atlanta center Todd McClure said. Theyve got good corners. Weve got good receivers. I think when you look back on this game (this) afternoon, whoever wins that matchup will probably be successful on the field. Theres a lot more to it, but I think that will be one deciding factor.
The size of Seattles cornerbacks Sherman is 6-3 and Browner 6-4 makes for a rare occasion where White and Jones dont possess a major advantage. White goes 6-foot, while Jones is 6-3. The length the two cornerbacks present makes it tougher to find throwing windows and requires more trust between quarterback and receiver.
Roddy is more crafty of a route runner. He uses different tricks and things. You can see hes a veteran when hes route running, Sherman said. Julio runs hard routes and plays the game more physical, I think. Hes stronger in his routes, he uses his body more.
Seeing strong, physical wide receivers wont be new for Browner and Sherman. They played against Larry Fitzgerald twice this season and also faced Chicagos Brandon Marshall, Detroits Calvin Johnson and Dallas Dez Bryant. Marshall had the biggest day with 10 catches for 165 yards, but Johnson (three catches, 45 yards), Bryant (three, 17 yards) and Fitzgerald (five, 65 yards in two games) all were held in check.
They also have a little bit of experience against Jones and White.
The Falcons played at Seattle in Week 4 of 2011. At that time, Sherman was a backup used only when Seattle went to six defensive backs.
Jones was clearly the favorite target of quarterback Matt Ryan that day, making 11 receptions and 127 yards.
There are plenty of other concerns for the Seahawks defense, starting with Gonzalez and the versatility of Jacquizz Rodgers out of the backfield. But the skill-position showdown on the outside will be worth keeping an eye on.
You just have to be accurate with the football and trust in the guys that we have, Ryan said. We have big, physical wide receivers, as well. You have to trust that theyre going to win on their routes.
AP Sports Writer Charles Odum in Flowery Branch, Ga., contributed to this report.