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Seahawks smash Falcons 38-25 to kick off 2020 NFL campaign

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

What slow start?

The Seattle Seahawks (1-0) dominated the Atlanta Falcons (0-1) down in Atlanta to kick off the 2020 NFL season. Russell Wilson threw for over 300 yards and four touchdown passes, while Jamal Adams lived up to the hype and then some on defense. Greg Olsen and Carlos Hyde both got TDs in their respective Seahawks debuts, while Chris Carson had a pair of receiving scores. Seattle jumped out to an early 14-3 lead, had a big 3rd quarter surge, and put the game to bed in the 4th quarter. The 38-25 win was deceptive because Atlanta scored in garbage time.

1st Half

Both teams started the game by taking a knee after the opening kickoff as a show of solidarity. As far as the game itself, the Falcons wasted no time getting Todd Gurley going with a couple of quality rushes. Seattle gave up 3rd and 11 to Julio Jones, who beat Quinton Dunbar on the sidelines. The Seahawks did hold Atlanta to a field goal after L.J. Collier forced an intentional grounding penalty on Matt Ryan. 3-0 Falcons.

Seattle’s first offensive possession saw an immediate sack on snap one, but Russell Wilson got them out of a 2nd and 19 jam with completions to Tyler Lockett and Greg Olsen to move the chains. The Seahawks had another hole to climb out of when Damien Lewis committed a holding penalty and Wilson got sacked again, but Ricardo Allen interfered with Tyler Lockett on 3rd and 23 (!!!) to set Seattle up with first-and-goal. Chris Carson scored on a play-action pass to put Seattle on the board. 7-3 Seahawks.

Julio Jones got free for a big gain on the first play of Atlanta’s second possession, but they wouldn’t get another first down and indeed turned it over on downs. A great stuff by Bobby Wagner on Brian Hill to deny him a 3rd and 1 conversion, and then Benson Mayowa flew in to bat a Matt Ryan pass away on 4th and 3.

The Seahawks only needed three plays to gain 60 yards and increase their lead. DK Metcalf caught a slant pass, Russell Wilson kept for 28 yards, and Chris Carson did the rest on a screen pass. 14-3 Seahawks.

Seattle’s defense got sliced open by the Atlanta aerial attack. Shaquill Griffin in particular got beat by Hayden Hurst and missed a tackle on Calvin Ridley. Todd Gurley was able to score over the top on 3rd and goal from the 1. The PAT was missed by Younghoe Koo. 14-9 Seahawks.

Both teams traded 3rd down sacks and therefore punts but Seattle’s was better because Jamal Adams got his first sack as a Seahawk.

Both offenses bogged down until Atlanta’s two-minute drill, which saw them back out from their own 8 and get into field goal range. Younghoe Koo’s kick was good to put the halftime score at 14-12 Seahawks.

2nd Half

Seattle’s opening drive of the 3rd quarter saw DK Metcalf have a terrible drop on what could’ve been a big gainer. Keep that in mind because he later extended the drive on a 3rd down conversion and then on 4th and 5 from the Atlanta 38, Wilson aired it out for the second-year star from Ole Miss and Isaiah Oliver was scorched. 21-12 Seahawks.

Unbelievably, the Falcons went three-and-out on the next possession and then called a fake punt inside their own 40. The good news for them is they converted, but Marquise Blair forced the fumble on the upback and rookie Freddie Swain recovered for the turnover.

Seattle turned that turnover into points thanks to a quick hitter touchdown to Greg Olsen. Welcome to Seattle! 28-12 Seahawks.

Julio Jones burned Lano Hill on the next possession and the Seahawks were lucky not to give up a touchdown. They tightened up down in the red zone thanks to a Jamal Adams run stop on Todd Gurley and then a 4th and short sack by Benson Mayowa. The Seahawks would march down the field, get penalized out of field goal range, get back into field goal range, and lead it 31-12 in the 4th quarter.

Atlanta fired right back in desperation with a lot of uptempo offense and big plays down the field. Jamal Adams tackled Shaquill Griffin by accident (duh) and Calvin Ridley was wide open for a busted coverage touchdown. Two-point conversion no good. 31-18 Seahawks.

The Falcons had one last attempt at a comeback after a Seahawks three-and-out. Things were going well for Matt Ryan and company until Quinton Dunbar had a near interception on 3rd down and Ridley dropped the ball on 4th down. A fourth 4th down failure and the end result was another Seahawks touchdown drive. Carlos Hyde punched it in from a yard out. 38-18 Seahawks.

Calvin Ridley scored in garbage time while I was typing this up. Hope you have him on your fantasy team! Atlanta got the onside kick but Quandre Diggs picked off Matt Ryan’s desperation heave. 38-25 Seahawks FINAL.

Next week’s opponent

Seattle goes primetime against the New England Patriots (1-0) on Sunday Night Football at 5:20 PM PT on NBC, live from an empty CenturyLink Field on September 20th.