Seahawks' Wilson 'feeling fast' without knee brace

Quarterback Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks played without a knee brace for the first time last weekend against the Detroit Lions and said it "felt great" (AFP Photo/OTTO GREULE JR) (Getty/AFP/File)

Los Angeles (AFP) - Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, prepping for an NFL playoff showdown with the Falcons in Atlanta on Saturday, says he's feeling good after ditching his knee brace last weekend.

"It felt great," said Wilson, who played without the brace on his left knee in a first-round playoff win over the Detroit Lions last weekend.

He had worn it in games ever since he sprained a ligament in the knee in September.

"I've been practising the past five or six weeks without it, so my legs have been feeling really good," Wilson said. "I just wanted to be smart, get to the playoffs and have a chance to hopefully go try to win it all. My legs felt great and my legs feel good right now. Feeling fast and all that."

With a win in Atlanta, the Seahawks would advance to the NFC Championship game for the third time in four seasons.

The Seahawks have often credited a heartbreaking post-season loss in Atlanta in 2012 with spurring them to their Super Bowl-winning 2013 season.

Wilson is the only offensive starter returning from that game.

More recently, the Seahawks defeated Atlanta 26-24 in a regular-season clash in October, but there will be no guarantees of a repeat when they take on the prolific Falcons offense guided by quarterback Matt Ryan.

"All teams are little different now, and I'd say we're a better version of ourselves than when we played them (in October)," Atlanta coach Dan Quinn said.

Improvement has been especially noticeable in the young Falcons defensive squad.

However, there is still something of a playoff cloud over Ryan, whose only post-season victory in five attempts was that 2012 win over the Seahawks.

Quinn said he'd counseled his quarterback to set that history aside.

"It's all about now," Quinn said.