First Quarter: **The Falcons forced a three-and-out on defense in the Seahawks' first series and their offense took over, looking like a vintage Falcons offense, circa 2010. Atlanta mixed the run and the pass, allowing rookie Jacquizz Rodgers to gain 19 yards on three carries. The drive was methodical and grinding, just the way the Falcons like it. The twelfth play of the drive was a touchdown pass to Tony Gonzalez. Atlanta drove 72 yards and burned 7:40 off the play clock. The Falcons forced another three and out on defense and Atlanta took over again heading into the second quarter. Specialist Matt Bosher's two kickoffs of the quarter resulted in touchbacks. Quarterback Matt Ryan finished the quarter six-for-six with 64 yards passing and one touchdown.
Second Quarter:Atlanta's second drive stalled but the defense answered again. On third-and-four, Falcons linebacker Mike Peterson tipped a Tavaris Jackson pass and middle linebacker Curtis Lofton reeled it in. It was the 23rd straight game the Falcons defense has forced a turnover, a league high. With a big play from the defense aiding them, Atlanta marched, scoring four plays later on a 21-yard touchdown run. Atlanta's offensive line provided significant room for Turner to run and the play was highlighted by a block on defensive end Chris Clemons by backup tight end Michael Palmer. Seattle responded with a 52-yard touchdown pass to Sydney Rice on the next possession. The Falcons matched the score with another of their own, using another long drive that featured two passes to Julio Jones and punched it in from one yard out to give Turner his second touchdown of the game, his tenth multiple touchdown game in his career. The Falcons forced a three-and-out on defense and got a field goal to end the half, taking a 24-7 lead.
Third Quarter:On the first play of the second half, Ryan connected with Jones for a 45-yard gain. The Falcons couldn't move the ball much more against Seattle improved defense with halftime adjustments. Josh Harris his his second field goal of the day, a 50-yarder to give the Falcons a 27-7 lead. Jackson and the Seahawks responded with a long drive to keep Atlanta's offense off the field and landed a six-yard touchdown pass to make it 27-14. Atlanta's defense struggled against the Seahawks in the third quarter, allowing a big return from Leon Washington to put Seattle on Atlanta's 11-yard line. Marshawn Lynch scored on the next play to bring the Seahawks to within six points of the Falcons. The third quarter was highlighted by the play of James Sanders and Thomas DeCoud. Sanders knocked tight end Zach Miller hard to dislodge a touchdown pass that DeCoud picked off. On the Washington return, Sanders was the player to make the stop before Washington broke away.
Fourth Quarter:The Falcons continued their third-quarter ending drive into the fourth quarter but once again couldn't find the end zone, settling for a Bryant 42-yard field goal. Atlanta's trend of trading field goals for touchdowns with Seattle continued with Jackson connecting with Seattle receiver Ben Obamanu in the endzone for an eight-yard touchdown, drawing the Seahawks to within two points. On Seattle's drive, cornerback Brent Grimes had a highlight play, leaping high with Sydney Rice in the endzone to knock the ball away. With a little over eight minutes to go, the Falcons took over and put together a nice drive but couldn't convert after the two-minute warning on third-and-8 from Seattle's 43. The Seahawks took over with 1:49 remaining. The Falcons stopped Seattle on third-and-8 from Atlanta's 43. Seahawks kicker Steve Hauschka missed a 61-yard attempt, giving the Falcons the 30-28 win.
Play of the Game:There were a number of game-influencing plays through the Falcons' win, but the most impressive was Grimes' leap in the endzone in the fourth quarter to break up a pass to Rice. Seattle took a shot at the Falcons' secondary, throwing deep for about 30 yards to Rice for the touchdown to help draw within two. Grimes leaped high in the air as he has often to swat the ball away, boxing out Rice in mid air. Seattle scored four plays later, but the Pro Bowl corner's moment is hard to ignore.
Player of the Game:Julio Jones has yet to find the endzone this season, but he's put together back-to-back 100 yard games. Against Seattle he caught 11 passes for 127 yards. The rookie was part of three of Atlanta's ten biggest plays, catching passes of 45, 29 and 14 yards. Kicker Matt Bryant gets an honorable mention for hitting three field goals, including a 50-yard attempt.
Turning Point:On Seattle's third-down attempt to get within scoring position late in the fourth quarter, linebacker Spencer Adkins came off the edge with a blitz that pressured Jackson into making a bad throw to Miller. Adkins' pressure was timely because the rush helped prevent a completion that would have been close for a first down or at the very least provided Seattle better field goal position. The incompletion forced the 61-yarder that Hauschka missed.
Stat of the Game:Atlanta doubled Seattle's time of possession (40:10 to 19:50), but much of it came in the first half. The Falcons raced to a big lead and used their ball-control offense mixed with timely big passes to grind down the Seahawks. In the second half the Falcons stuck with the plan, but Seattle managed to find quick scores to draw closer as the game progressed. A few stops on defense and that kind of lopsided time of possession is a recipe for a blowout.
Tweet of the Game:Falcons fan @emiliodsr was on hand in Seattle to witness the Falcons' big win. In the second half, he had this to say about his CenturyLink experience: "Watching the game with ear plugs this stadium is loud i wonder how this was if they were at least close
atlsea11." The Falcons faced the disruptive crowd head-on and were flagged for only four penalties. More impressively, on third downs, when the stadium was at its loudest, the Falcons converted at a 56 percent rate.
Quote of the Day:After struggling to get the run going last week against Tampa Bay, the probability was high that they'd want to come out against a struggling run defense in Seattle and run Devonta Freeman right at them. They committed to the run early on and remained balanced with it as the game progressed, but Turner failed to break 100 yards on the day. He did score two touchdowns, which is a testament to the work the five players did up front. The offensive line was a topic of discussion this week and head coach Mike Smith thought they responded positively, even against a Seahawks team doing everything they could to stop the ground game: "They were really loading the box. They were basically just selling out to stop the run. We want to control the line of scrimmage, that's what our football team is built on. I thought the offensive line did a nice job responding to that this week."