There was nothing consistent about Sunday’s NFC powerhouse showdown between the Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons, but at the end of the day, the Seahawks won 26-24 because they got lucky last.
After Seattle led 17-3 at halftime, the Falcons stormed back for 21 unanswered points in the third quarter to take a seven-point lead that left many fans feeling deflated about the Seahawks chances. Things didn’t get better after a missed 29-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka (on a bad snap) or even a fourth quarter touchdown — because a blocked PAT kept Atlanta in the driver’s seat. But Seattle took a 26-24 lead on a 45-yard field goal by Hauschka with just under two minutes remaining after Earl Thomas set up the drive with an interception on Matt Ryan.
On the Falcons’ final chance, Ryan heaved a deep fourth down pass to Julio Jones that was incomplete, though it appeared that Richard Sherman could have been called for defensive pass interference. There was no flag and the Seahawks improved to 4-1.
Many will say that Seattle “got away with one” and maybe they did catch the right breaks, but they also dominated on defense in the first, second, and fourth quarters. Against the number one offense, they had their struggles in the third quarter. But overall, they did enough to win and that’s what matters. There was still a price to pay, however.
Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett left the game in the third quarter with a serious-looking knee injury on a cut block from Falcons tackle Jake Matthews.
Update: Bennett says he’s fine.
Michael Bennett irate at cut block by Matthews. But says he's fine and should be able to play next week.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) October 17, 2016
The defense was already without safety Kam Chancellor and Frank Clark, who were announced as inactive prior to the game.
The Seahawks now travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals next Sunday night on NBC.
- Christine Michael rushed for two touchdowns. He had 64 yards on 18 carries. Backup C.J. Spiller caught three passes for 38 yards but also had two huge drops.
- Jimmy Graham had six catches for 89 yards. He has 355 yards on the season.
- Doug Baldwin was quiet, catching four passes for 31 yards.
- Bobby Wagner had 14 tackles.
- Deshawn Shead had eight tackles and three passes defensed. Richard Sherman had four tackles, two passes defensed, but overall seemed to have a pretty poor game. I think we’ll see more from Sam Gold on this later in the week.
- Earl Thomas had three passes defensed and the key interception.
- Cliff Avril had two sacks. Michael Bennett had five QB hits before leaving the game with injury. Jarran Reed and Cassius Marsh also had sacks.
- Russell Wilson was 25-of-37 for 270 yards, 7.3 Y/A, 0 TD, 0 INT, 88.9 passer rating, and was sacked once. He had a few bad decisions but overall a solid game and a very good first half. Of course, he also did what was needed in the fourth quarter to win the game, making a few clutch throws. Another game-winning drive for Wilson.
- Alex Collins had his first career touchdown.