In the first half of Sunday's matchup at CenturyLink Field, the Seattle defense sacked Matt Ryan three times, hit him on eight other occasions that propelled the Seahawks to a 17-3 lead.
Following intermission, however, Pete Carroll's group had a more difficult time getting into Atlanta's backfield.
During the final 30 minutes of action, the Seahawks only sacked Ryan once and tallied five QB hits. The Falcons' O-linemen — along with their tight ends — rebounded in a big way.
This improvement at the line of scrimmage was critical for a team that was dealing with a large deficit, a talented opponent and a hostile atmosphere. And it helped turn a lopsided affair into a battle that went down to the wire.
"The quarterback hits were concerning certainly in the first half," head coach Quinn said. "We came right back to it, where some (mistakes) were technique errors; we actually had a mental error on one. Not all of them were on the offensive line in terms of protection. But that part of our game got a lot better as the game went."
Thanks in large part to the work in front of him, Ryan was able to shred Seattle's defense in the third quarter, completing 13 of 17 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns. Prior to that 15-minute stanza, the Seahawks had allowed just one passing TD all season.
"Our offensive line did a fantastic job in the second half," Ryan said. "Obviously, collectively, we didn't play as well as we needed to in the first half. It's not them. It's all of us. We had opportunities, but we didn't really do much. I thought they responded really well, as did the whole offense. I thought we played well in the second half."
Ryan has been especially sharp this year coming out of the half, connecting on 36 of 47 third-quarter passes for 615 yards, five touchdowns and an interception — good for a 144.6 QB rating. 25 of those 36 completions resulted in first downs.