Sunday, October 2, 2011
Wrap-up: Falcons 30, Seahawks 28
By Pat Yasinskas
Thoughts on the Atlanta Falcons' 30-28 victory against the Seattle Seahawks:
What it means: The Falcons still have plenty of problems, but they at least bought some time to fix them. Barely. Seattle missed a 61-yard field goal attempt in the final seconds. Had the Seahawks scored, Atlanta’s season would have been over. That might sound like an exaggeration four games into a season, but it’s not. The Falcons came dangerously close to squandering a 24-7 half-time lead. They almost got embarrassed by … Tarvaris Jackson. Yes, that Tarvaris Jackson. Instead, they’re 2-2 with all sorts of questions and with the defending Super Bowl champions coming to town next week.
What I liked: The way the Falcons played in the first half. It was pretty much the way everyone expected the Falcons to play back at the start of the season when they were being mentioned as Super Bowl contenders. They came out early, mixing the run and the pass (including a few of those elusive “explosive plays’’), protecting Matt Ryan, and moving the ball at will. On defense, they held Seattle to five rushing yards and five first downs.
What I didn’t like: The entire second half. The Falcons did virtually nothing right. The defense suddenly had no answers for Jackson and there is absolutely no excuse for that. There was a touchdown pass to Mike Williams where the Atlanta defense simply didn’t cover the Seattle receiver. Guard Garrett Reynolds had a false-start at a critical time. Roddy White, who has become a drop machine this year, had a crucial drop on a second-and-2 and the Falcons, once again, shied away from Michael Turner and the running game.
The interception helpers: Atlanta did intercept Jackson twice and both of those came on well-thrown balls where a Falcons’ defender made a big hit to knock the ball loose and put it up for grabs. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon created linebacker Curtis Lofton's first-half interception. Safety James Sanders did the same thing for Thomas DeCoud early in the third quarter before the Seahawks really got rolling. In hindsight, without the play by Sanders and DeCoud, the Falcons probably would have lost.
What’s next: The Falcons host the Green Bay Packers next Sunday night at the Georgia Dome.