Sunday the Seattle Seahawks took down the Atlanta Falcons 27-20 in a game that finished far closer than it looked like it would in the first half. The Hawks jumped out to a 24-0 lead in the first half, but then could not do much in the second half as the Falcons attempted to take control of the game. However, it was too little too late for the home team, and the visitors departed Atlanta with a 4-0 record in road games for the first time in nearly four decades.
Moving from the final result to individual performances, fans have been waiting for a game where members of the rookie class contributed significantly, and Sunday delivered that.
Blair was all over the field for the Seattle defense, leading the team in tackles with eleven, including nine solo tackles. In fact, Blair’s nine solo tackles was more than the combined solo and assisted tackles of every player on both teams, with the exception of K.J. Wright, who had three solo tackles and seven assisted. In short, Blair was a tackling machine against the Falcons on Sunday.
However, perhaps the biggest play made by Blair, and by any member of the Seahawks defense on the day came early in the fourth quarter with the Falcons threatening to make it a one-score game. On 1st & Goal at the Seattle eight yard line, Matt Schaub completed a pass to Devonta Freeman, and Freeman worked his way down close to the end zone before an ill-advised stretch of the ball gave Blair an opportunity to punch it out.
In a game that ended with a seven point margin of victory, that forced fumble at the one yard line ended the only non-scoring drive of the second half for Atlanta, and much of the credit for that goes to the young safety.
Metcalf’s thirteen receiving yards on the day marked the second lowest yardage output of his young career, but that was more than made up for by the fact that it was the first multi-touchdown game he’s posted for the Hawks.
As has been the case all season, several members of the rookie class were contributors on special teams. Sunday that included Cody Barton (two tackles), Ugo Amadi (one tackle), Travis Homer and Ben Burr-Kirven.
First round pick L.J. Collier has not played on special teams, but with Quinton Jefferson out with an oblique muscle injury, Collier was again in the defensive line rotation. Against Atlanta he had just one tackle, but it was a good play.
L.J. Collier is lined up as the RDE on this play, and engages the LT, fights down the line and tackles Devonta Freeman on a play run over guard on the other side of the line. pic.twitter.com/CG8Rubx86n— John P. Gilbert (@JohnPGilbertNFL) October 28, 2019
While Blair and Metcalf had a solid Sunday, much of the rookie class remained inactive. John Ursua and Gary Jennings were both healthy scratches once again, while Demarcus Christmas and Phil Haynes remain on the PUP list. With the Hawks now likely in need of interior offensive line help following Justin Britt’s injury on Sunday, it will be interesting to see what the team does with Haynes in the coming weeks.
Up next for the rookie class is the Seahawks long-time NFC West nemesis Bruce Arians and his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.