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.