I really don't have many words for how the rest of this third quarter has gone. Earlier in the quarter, Ray Edwards walked off the field with an undisclosed injury, and then Peria Jerry did the same with an apparent injury to the knee. When I hear "Peria" and "knee" in the same sentence, I get very nervous. More updates to come.
The Falcons took over on offense following that Seahawks score, and really didn't accomplish much. A holding penalty put the Falcons in a first and twenty, and were ultimately forced to punt. That quickly gave the ball back to the 'Hawks with all the momentum seemingly going their way.
All of a sudden, Seattle could move the ball on offense. A 26-yard screen pass to Marshawn Lynch followed by another completion to Doug Baldwin brought their offense to midfield. Another screen pass, this time to Justin Forsett, went for an 18-yard gain and had the Seahawks set up in the red zone. But a monster hit by James Sanders popped a would-be touchdown pass up into the air, and Thomas DeCoud promptly intercepted it and bailed out the rest of the defense.
Then, with the ball on the Atlanta five, Mike Mularkey's playcalling could not get the Falcons out of the shadow of their own goal post. Two failed running plays followed by an incompletion on third and long had the shaky Matt Bosher punting out of his own end zone. You know, at SOME POINT maybe you stop being so predictable on offense Mularkey. Two runs and a pass does not keep the defense off-balance. Just a suggestion.
So, as one might expect, Bosher's punt went for a whopping 40 yards, and a great return by Leon Washington had the Seahawks in great field position at the Atlanta 11-yard line. All effects of the interception were essentially negated by poor play calling and special teams ineptitude. Seattle quickly took advantage of this opportunity by handing it off to Lynch, who took it in for the touchdown.
The Falcons took over now only nursing a slim 27-21 lead, and desperately needing to provide a response to 14 third-quarter points allowed. Realizing that the running game was quickly losing steam, the Falcons turned to the pass and found some success pretty quickly. Ryan spread the ball around to Julio, Roddy, and Gonzalez, effectively marching the offense all the way to the Seattle 35 early in the fourth quarter.
The Falcons need to hold onto this lead. With few easier games on the schedule and teams like the Saints continuing to win games, the Falcons need to send a message that they are still for real. To Brian Van Gorder: Prevent Defense. Just say "no."
For discussion, turn to Falcons blog The Falcoholic and Seahawks blog Field Gulls, plus SB Nation Seattle.