Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on Seahawks’ loss to Falcons
As we do after each Seahawks game, we have polled the voices of 710 ESPN Seattle for their thoughts on the team’s 34-31 loss to Atlanta. Read a sneak peak below of what they’ll be saying on the air Tuesday about the game.
Jim Moore of Danny, Dave and Moore
I won’t question Pete Carroll for trying the fake field goal at the end of the first half. Pretty easy to criticize him when a play like that gets blown up. If Luke Willson had scored on the shovel pass from Jon Ryan, everyone would have praised Carroll for taking the big gamble. If I’m going to second-guess him, it would be for trying the play with such little time left in the first half. If Willson had gotten anything but a touchdown and been tackled anywhere short of the goal line, what difference would it have made between kicking the somewhat longer field goal without attempting the fake? More than anything else, I thought it was a gritty performance by the Seahawks, who played without Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor as well as defensive tackle Jarran Reed. Then they lost Shaquill Griffin to a concussion on the second play of the game. The Seahawks trailed 14-0 before they knew what hit them, and the fact that they battled back and nearly forced overtime was surprising, particularly since they were down 34-23 with less than 4 minutes to go. The running game also showed life with Mike Davis before he left with a groin injury. J.D. McKissic had flashes as well, and Russell Wilson picked up six first downs with timely scrambles. They may have lost back-to-back games at CenturyLink Field for the first time since 2012, but they face the 1-9 49ers on Sunday with a good chance to improve to 7-4 before hosting the Eagles on Sunday Night Football on Dec. 3. This is no doubt a sign of what to expect in the next month and a half – higher-scoring games with the offense needing to compensate for a depleted defense.
Tom Wassell of Bob, Groz and Tom
It’s not that the secondary played well, but all things considered I would have taken their performance up until about midway through the third quarter when it fell apart on them. Hopefully that won’t be the case in every remaining game. Pete Carroll calling for a fake field goal with seven seconds to go in the first half made no sense whatsoever. Mike Davis looked decent in his first game called up from the practice squad. Jimmy Graham was as up-and-down as you could be. Jeremy Lane had a tough time with Julio Jones. Was the Falcons’ kick coverage horrible or was Tyler Lockett magnificent? That drive to score the Doug Baldwin TD at the end is emblematic of the kind of team the Seahawks are and the player that Russell Wilson is. They don’t quit. The defense responds with a beautiful sack of Matt Ryan by Sheldon Richardson to give the offense one more chance. As for the final drive, more of the same from Russell. The most exciting athlete in all of sports, in my opinion. Too bad the game had to come down to a missed kick.
Mike Salk of Brock and Salk
This is the second game the Seahawks’ coaching staff has cost them this year, and while they may have been outmatched at times, it is so hard to play against both the other team and your own. You can afford to play loosey goosey when you have much more talent than other teams, but as you get older and guys get hurt, you have to do something to make up for it – and the Seahawks don’t. They stall drives with penalties, they get hormonal, and they waste resources (like timeouts). Sure, you can win despite those things. But without the talent edge, it becomes increasingly difficult. And that is why you can understand them allowing 9 of 14 third down conversions. You can understand some of the pass interference penalties on backups who are just trying to hang on for dear life. But you can’t do anything to shrink your margin, and they did that against a better team and lost.
Bob Stelton of Bob, Groz and Tom
This game got off to a lousy start. The Falcons scored a TD on each of their first two drives thanks to some untimely penalties and a brutal interception from Russell Wilson. It was a tough night for the Hawks’ defense without Sherman, Chancellor and Jarran Reed, especially for Jeremy Lane who was being beaten on coverage and had a costly penalty which set up the Falcons for their first score. The bright spots for Seattle were Tyler Lockett’s returns (five for 197 yards) and Russell Wilson’s rushing (86 yards). It wasn’t a great night of passing and the O-line did very little in the way of blocking on run or pass plays. Wilson was running for his life most of the night, but then again we’ve become accustomed to seeing that. Ultimately the Seahawks still had a chance to win this game if not for a fake field goal attempt that amounted to nothing and Pete challenging a catch that was clearly not a catch to waste a timeout. The Falcons did their part but the Seahawks did their best to help them out.