As the clock has finally hit zero, the Atlanta Falcons have earned a win over the Seattle Seahawks, advancing to the NFC Championship.
The beginning of this matchup played out better than the Seahawks could have ever dreamed of. A sustained touchdown drive to open the contest? We haven’t seen something like that from this team in a long while.
The following drive, the Falcons marched down the field and answered with a touchdown of their own to Julio Jones. A big kick return by the ageless Devin Hester set Seattle up in great position to score, but a missed throw by Russell Wilson forced the Seahawks to kick a field goal.
After a quick stop by the defense, all hell broke loose. Hester almost took a punt to the house, but a ticky-tacky holding call on Kevin Pierre-Louis brought the play back. Two plays later, Wilson tripped due to rookie right guard Rees Odhiambo stepping on his foot, causing a safety. That is a 9-point swing right there, my friends.
Seattle finished the half seemingly unable to slow down the Atlanta offense, giving up 10 points on the following two possessions.
Immediately after halftime, DeShawn Shead went down with a leg injury, forcing him from the game. The Falcons took advantage of this, driving down the field to score a third touchdown.
After the Seahawks drove down the field and kicked a field goal, Atlanta responded with a huge third down conversion to Devonta Freeman, bringing them right back into the red zone. A timely sack by Athyba Rubin forced the Falcons to attempt a field goal, extending the lead to 16 points at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
On the ensuing series, Wilson overthrew Doug Baldwin on what would have been a loooooong touchdown. On 4th down, Pete Carroll elected to punt instead of going for the first down.
Seattle elected to run hurry up offense on the next drive and began to move the ball well before a sack put them in a third-and-long which led to a gifted interception right on Atlanta’s doorstep.
With only seven minute remaining, the Seahawks desperately needed a turnover to have any hope of staying alive. Unfortunately, the Falcons took care of business and punched the ball into the end zone. With four minutes left at that point, that looked to be the nail in the coffin.
Of course, just to fuck with our emotions, the Seahawks scored a touchdown on the first play of the following drive. Predictable, huh? Unfortunately, it seemed to be too little too late.
After failing to recover an onside kick, Seattle forced a three-and-out to receive the ball again with just under three minutes remaining, running out of timeouts in the process. After Paul Richardson forced our hearts to skip a beat, an absurd tip drill interception (which didn’t actually look to be an interception) ended the Seahawks’ comeback attempt.
Earl Thomas is irreplaceable. We knew this, but didn’t understand the magnitude Since his season-ending injury, Seattle has played against three teams with explosive passing games: the Packers, the Cardinals, and the Falcons. In those three games, they gave up 38, 34, and 36 points respectively. That won’t do.
Paul Richardson is legit. Seriously. He balled out again and looks to be an enormous part of this offense moving forward. It’s a real bummer that it took a season-ender to Tyler Lockett for us to discover PRich as such a dominant weapon.
Today’s game was an unfortunate way to end the season, but the fact that the Seahawks even reached the divisional round of the playoffs in a season filled with such adversity is a testament to the heart displayed by these men on a regular basis.
This team isn’t going anywhere moving forward. They are destined for greatness. This is merely a delay on the road to the mountaintop.
As always, Go Hawks.