Depleted Seahawks ruffle feathers with 26-24 home win over Falcons
In a battle of two division leading teams, it was the home Seahawks that proved to be the class of the NFC as Seattle grounded the high-flying Falcons, 26-24 in a hotly contested, intense conference battle.
What a wild game…so many big performances from both teams and drama ’till the end. With the victory, Seattle improves to 4-1 and assumes total control of the NFC West.
Seattle looked real-good in the first half and put consistent pressure on Matt Ryan not letting the signal caller get a good rhythm, sacking, deflecting and forcing fumbles along the way to a 17-3 halftime lead.
But things turned quickly in the third quarter after Atlanta drove the field three times for TDs giving the Falcons a 24-17 lead. That Atlanta scoring binge drove to infighting on the Seattle sidelines as cornerback Richard Sherman needed to be separated in the midst of a tirade directed at his secondary mates. Cooler heads prevailed and whatever was said locked down the backfield from then on as Seattle rose-up in the fourth, shutting-out the high-flying birds the remainder of the game.
With safety Kam Chancellor and defensive end Frank Clark already out, and losing the big DE Michael Bennett to a knee injury in the third, Seattle needed players to step up. Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner did playing a hard-hitting, strong game leading Seattle with 14 total tackles.
And in the closing minutes, Atlanta’s best chance ended with a deflected pass and safety Earl Thomas interception with 3:57 to play. Atlanta did get another shot, but Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones failed to connect on a fourth-down deep pass down the field. Shame.
In the end, two of the best teams in the NFC played it out on the turf of CenturyLink Field in highly competitive, intense conference battle and possible playoff preview.
Russell Wilson needed to do it again and did driving his team on his 20th fourth-quarter or overtime game-wining drive. And the playmakers made their mark in victory.
The Seahawks next travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals in a Sunday night affair on NBC. Hopefully it’s a fair fight and Seattle gets to take a healthy squad on the road when they do.
Under Pete Carroll, the Seahawks are now 16-0 in games Seattle lead by double-digits at halftime.
Player of the Game
The defense as a unit had its moments in the game. Early they played well pressuring the Atlanta QB. They also allowed 21 points in the third quarter. But when when the team needed someone to really step up, Earl Thomas did with his timely follow-though on the late-game interception. Then with a key pass breakup on an would-be Mohamed Sanu drive extending reception the following series.
Seattle takes to the road for an NFC West showdown against a bird of another feather, the division foe Arizona Cardinals in a Sunday night showdown on NBC.