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Time Machine: Answers Found in Seattle


In Week 13 of the 1997 season, the Falcons traveled to the Great Northwest in search of some late season momentum. Atlanta had dropped seven of their first eight games under new head coach Dan Reeves and they were fighting to regroup during the second half of the season. The Kingdome would be just the right elixir.

RB Jamal Anderson scored two touchdowns in the first half on a rush (of 1 yard) and a pass reception (of 13 yards) to stake the Birds to a 17-0 lead. Seattle fought back on a pair of passing touchdowns from future Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon to close the gap.

Rookie Byron Hanspard blew open a close game with an exciting 93 yard kickoff return touchdown in the third quarter to provide a 10-point cushion for the Falcons. The return was the eighth longest in team history at that time.

A Seahawks bid for a comeback to keep their playoff hopes alive was thwarted by CB Lenny McGill who stepped in front of former Falcons WR Mike Pritchard and picked off a Moon pass at the Atlanta 29-yard line with 1:27 left.

This triumph helped the Falcons claim their third straight win on their way to five victories in their final six contests to finish the season with a respectable 7-9 record.

Much like those '97 Birds as they flew West searching for answers, head coach Mike Smith's crew is looking to get untracked this Sunday in Seattle.

Smith is 4-0 during his Falcons career when traveling to the West Coast and is a solid 13-3 the next week following a loss. Atlanta is looking to bottle up that good karma and throw it on the team plane as they head to the land of Starbucks.

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