Falcons Vs. Seahawks: Early Birds Get 30-28 Win

The Falcons dominated the first half against Seattle before giving up 21 second-half points, but held on to reach .500.

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Falcons Vs. Seahawks Final Score: Atlanta Barely Hangs On For 30-28 Victory

With the Falcons set up in good position to score, the offense at least came away with some points. A 10-yard dump off pass to Jacquizz Rodgers on third down brought the Falcons into field goal range, and after Julio Jones was well-covered in the endzone the Falcons would go for a field goal. Matt Bryant would hit his third field goal of over 40 yards today, this one good from 42. That would make it 30-21 and a two-possession game.

Whatever adjustments Seattle made at the half, which apparently includes employing more of their own no-huddle offense, they seem to be working well. Though the Falcons finally started applying more pressure on Tarvaris Jackson, he's been tearing the secondary apart this half. After Brent Grimes made a spectacular leap to knock away a pass intended for Sidney Rice on second down, the defense again couldn't come through on third-and-long. Doug Baldwin made a 16-yard catch, and has continued to make catches all day.

That trend would continue. Good defense on first and second down brought up third and manageable, but a complete lapse in coverage left Ben Obomanu wide open in the corner of the endzone. All of a sudden the Seahawks are within a field goal of actually taking the lead. Jackson now has three TD passes on the day. All I can do is shake my head. 

So with only eight minutes left in this football game, the Falcons take over on offense really, really needing to score a touchdown. An eight-yard completion to Roddy White brought up third and short, and Tony Gonzalez came up with a man's catch that was good for a Falcons first down.

Another pass to Roddy was ruled incomplete and challenged, but not overturned. On the third third-down of the drive, Ryan continued his apparent success on the ground by scrambling for the first. It certainly isn't the prettiest stride, but Matty Ice does whatever it takes it would seem. After another failed handoff to Turner and a short completion to Gonzalez, the Falcons were faced with yet another third down at the two-minute warning.

Though Ryan got the protection he needed, his throw floated over the head of Gonzalez and incomplete. Matt Bosher's 28-yard punt was good enough to at least pin Seattle inside of their own twenty. And on first down, what could have very easily been a Ray Edwards interception was tipped in the air and caught by Forsett for a nine-yard gain. All you can do is shake your head.

As the Seahawks continued to drive down the field, that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach began to grow. With 0:13 left on the clock, Pete Carroll called Steve Hauschka out onto the field to try a 61-yard field goal, the potential game winner. It missed. Every member of Falcons nation exhales.

Atlanta narrowly escapes blowing a 17-point lead, and moves to 2-2 on the season. This team still has much to improve upon. The defense crumbled in the second half of that game, and seemingly allowed Tarvaris Jackson to score at whim towards the end. But we'll save that discussion for later.

Falcons win, and for now that's all that matters.

For discussion, turn to Falcons blog The Falcoholic and Seahawks blog Field Gulls, plus SB Nation Seattle.


Falcons Vs. Seahawks Halftime Score: Falcons Up 24-7, Taking Care of Business In Seattle

On the ensuing possession by the Seahawks, the defense allowed a quick score that put Seattle right back into the game, exactly what you don't want to see if you're the Falcons. A second-down pass that was first ruled a fumble/recovery that would've actually helped the Seahawks, it was then ruled an incompletion following a Mike Smith challenge.

That play brought up a third-and-eight, and the Falcons looked to be in good position to get the ball back. But Tarvaris Jackson managed to get the ball to Doug Baldwin over a slightly hobbled Kelvin Hayden for a thirty-yard gain, putting the Seahawks in business at midfield.

Then on what would have been a free play due to an offsides penalty called on Kroy Biermann, Jackson launched what I'll admit was a great pass and found Sidney Rice for the 52-yard score. Though Rice is a big receiver, he has some pretty deceptive speed and basically had Brent Grimes beat the whole way down the field. That cut the Falcons lead in half, 14-7.

So, after a solid kickoff return by Eric Weems, the offense went to work right away by picking up the first down on a 10-yard swing pass to Michael Turner. Then, after a screen pass to Julio Jones that failed in every sense of the word, Ryan went right back Julio on third-and-thirteen for a 29-yard gain. Jones has really been the difference maker for the offense today, already hauling in six catches for 60 yards.

Then Ryan turned to his most reliable weapon in Roddy White. On a third-down play in which the pass protection (mostly Sam Baker) completely broke down, Ryan somehow managed to find Roddy for an 15-yard gain with Seahawks defenders hanging all over him. Two plays later, the two connected yet again, this time a 16-yard tip-toe catch that brought up a first and goal at the two.

Turner was able to power it in from one yard out for his second score of the day, capping an 11-play, 72-yard touchdown drive. After giving up a big score, the Falcons offense responded in a big way to regain their 14-point lead.

The Seahawks offense took the field hoping to continue their recent success, but the Falcons D wasn't going to have any of it, forcing a very quick three-and-out. While he's made some good plays on the day, Jackson simply hasn't been consistent enough to orchestrate any sort of extended drive.

So as a result of that defensive stop, the offense had the ball with under two minutes left in the half and all three timeouts. After some more poor tackling by Seattle's defense, they had the ball at midfield and again turned to the no-huddle. But after a third down incompletion on what was probably pass interference against Brandon Browner, the Falcons settled for a field goal, which Matt Bryant nailed from 47 yards out. He is now five-for-five on the year.

That effectively brought an end to the first half, with the Falcons holding a comfortable 24-7 lead over the Seahawks. A couple of important things to note: the Falcons have not committed any turnovers, and have only allowed five yards rushing in the first half. Ryan is an efficient 16/21 passing for 164 yards and a touchdown.

All that remains for Atlanta now is to stay strong on defense (that means no prevent defense-- I'm talking to you, Brian Van Gorder) and continue to stay mistake-free. "Back to basics" was the theme for the week, and so far the Falcons have delivered.

For discussion, turn to Falcons blog The Falcoholic and Seahawks blog Field Gulls, plus SB Nation Seattle.

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