Sunday, October 2, 2011
Wrap-up: Falcons 30, Seahawks 28
By Mike Sando
Thoughts on the Seattle Seahawks' 30-28 home defeat against the Atlanta Falcons:
What it means: The Seahawks fell to 1-3 overall and 1-1 at home, putting them in a rough spot heading into a road game against the New York Giants. But their offense made significant strides, giving the team hope. Seattle can build upon this performance despite the disappointing outcome. Tarvaris Jackson played his best game of the season, at least temporarily validating coach Pete Carroll's decision to stick with him after a mostly unproductive start to the season.
What I liked: Seattle showed greater potential on offense. Sidney Rice's 52-yard scoring reception from Jackson served notice, again, that the Seahawks' big-ticket addition in free agency is a difference maker in the passing game. Jackson made an effort to get Mike Williams involved. Williams caught a touchdown pass before leaving the game with a head injury. Jackson also made a clutch scramble for a first down in Falcons territory when the Seahawks needed points in the fourth quarter. Marshawn Lynch, contained most of the day, broke free for an 11-yard scoring run as the Seahawks pulled within 27-21 late in the third quarter. Jackson's mobility helped buy time on a late scoring pass to Ben Obomanu as the Seahawks rallied to within 30-28. Also, receiver Doug Baldwin bounced back from a huge hit to make a 30-yard reception. He took another big hit, this one helmet to helmet, making a key reception in the fourth quarter. There was no flag. Baldwin returned to the game and kept making plays. He's been a huge find for Seattle.
What I didn't like: The Seahawks had trouble mounting much of a pass rush even though the Falcons had allowed 13 sacks through three games, the same total Atlanta had allowed heading into Week 10 last season. Ryan's ability to operate without pressure put the Falcons in good position. Allowing two first-half rushing touchdowns to Michael Turner hurt even though Turner wasn't breaking off long runs as a general rule. The Seahawks are sometimes overdependent on Chris Clemons for sacks. A holding penalty against cornerback Brandon Browner helped the Falcons sustain a fourth-quarter drive while Atlanta was protecting a 30-28 lead.
Key play: The Falcons' ability to beat pressure with a third-down dump pass while leading 27-21 early in the fourth quarter moved them into position for a field goal that gave them a 9-point lead.
What's next: The Seahawks visit the New York Giants in Week 5 before having a bye in Week 6.