Friday Rewind: Revisiting Seahawks Week 8 Victory Against Falcons
Following a disappointing loss against the Ravens, the Seahawks packed their bags and were looking to bounce back against the Falcons in their fourth road game of the 2019 season.
With quarterback Matt Ryan sidelined due to an ankle injury, Seattle’s defense was able to keep Atlanta scoreless through the first 30 minutes of the contest. Despite allowing backup quarterback Matt Schaub to pass for 460 yards, a trio of turnovers and two missed field goals helped the Seahawks maintain a seven-point advantage when the final horn sounded.
Let’s look back upon some of the critical moments that ultimately led to the Seahawks’ 27-20 victory against the Falcons during their first trip to Mercedes-Benz Stadium since the 2017 campaign.
1. Leading 3-0 in the first quarter, Shaquill Griffin’s third down stop leads to a missed field goal attempt from Atlanta.
Controlling a three-point edge early, the Seahawks were looking to add more points to the scoreboard during their second drive of the first quarter. But thanks to a holding penalty from center Joey Hunt, the offense was ultimately forced to punt just five plays into the drive.
With just five minutes remaining in the opening quarter, the Falcons started their second drive of the game at their own 10-yard line and were able to gain 51 yards in just seven plays. Needing 12 yards to move the chains, running back Devonta Freeman caught a pass in the flats and was tackled one yard short of the marker by Griffin, forcing Atlanta to attempt a 51-yard field goal.
Despite connecting on 12 of his 14 field goal attempts from at least 50 yards away over the last two seasons, kicker Matt Bryant pushed this attempt wide to the left, preserving Seattle’s three-point lead. Looking to take advantage of this missed scoring opportunity, quarterback Russell Wilson led his offense 59 yards in just six plays and capped off the drive by connecting in the end zone with receiver DK Metcalf, taking a 10-0 lead in the second quarter.
2. Following Metcalf’s touchdown, Mychal Kendricks’ interception provides the offense with another prime scoring opportunity.
Now trailing 10-0 with just under 12 minutes remaining in the first half, the Falcons started their second drive of the second quarter at their own 25-yard line and were looking to finally get on the scoreboard. Four plays later, Schaub was initially able to connect with receiver Julio Jones for a 20-yard reception, but the play was called back because of an offensive pass interference penalty.
Following this infraction, the Falcons’ offense was pushed back to their own 35-yard line and were positioned 20 yards away from the yard marker. Looking to regain a big chunk of the lost yardage, the veteran signal caller targeted his All-Pro receiver once again, only to be picked off by Kendricks for his first interception of the season.
With Seattle’s offense now positioned at Atlanta’s 46-yard line, they had just under nine minutes to extend their lead before halftime, which proved to be plenty of time for Wilson. After running back Chris Carson’s explosive 19-yard rush pushed his team into the Falcons’ red zone, the 25-year old was called upon at the one-yard line four plays later and surged into the end zone for the score, handing the Seahawks a 17-0 advantage.
3. After Atlanta missed another field goal attempt, Metcalf’s second touchdown of the game pushes Seattle’s lead to 24-0.
Still without any points, the Falcons desperately needed to generate a score of their own before the conclusion of the second quarter. Despite starting at their own 25-yard line, the offense traveled 40 yards in just three plays and found themselves in field goal range with just over two minutes left in the first half.
Continuing their poor performance, Bryant missed on his second field goal attempt of the game, this time from 53 yards out. Gaining possession of the ball at their own 43-yard line, the Seahawks still had plenty of time to extend their lead late in the second quarter. Thanks to a pair of 20-yard catches from receiver Tyler Lockett, the offense traveled to Atlanta’s two-yard line in just over a minute.
With time ticking down, Wilson floated his pass over multiple defenders and found Metcalf wide open in the end zone for his second touchdown of the contest. Now leading 24-0, defensive end Ziggy Ansah was able to recover Schaub’s fumble as the final seconds bled off the clock, preventing Atlanta from cutting into Seattle’s lead before halftime.
4. Controlling a 13-point advantage, Bobby Wagner’s fumble recovery ends Atlanta’s scoring opportunity early in the fourth quarter.
Up by 24 points to begin the third quarter, the Seahawks controlled all the momentum entering the second half but they quickly squandered it by allowing 11 unanswered points from the Falcons’ offense. Following Seattle’s second punt of the quarter, Atlanta regained possession of the ball at its own 14-yard line and was looking to trim the deficit even further.
Thanks to four pass receptions that resulted in 10 yards or more, it only took Atlanta’s offense seven plays to surge into Seattle’s red zone. Positioned at the Seahawks eight-yard line, Freeman caught a seven-yard pass from Schaub and headed towards the end zone, but had the ball stripped from his grasp by safety Marquise Blair, which allowed Wagner to recover the fumble.
Starting at their own six-yard line, Seattle’s offense drained nearly seven minutes off the clock as they traveled 58 yards and connected on a successful 54-yard field goal attempt from kicker Jason Myers. Despite a late comeback effort, the Falcons first-half woes were too much to overcome as the Seahawks earned their sixth win of the season.