Seahawks beat Falcons 27-20 but leave Atlanta with some concerns

Oct 27, 2019, 11:27 AM | Updated: 4:32 pm

The Seahawks are getting out of Atlanta with a 27-20 victory over the Falcons and 6-2 record on the season.

How you feel about that depends on a few factors, however.

Seahawks 27, Falcons 20: O’Neil | Gallant | 710 reacts | Britt hurt

Seattle built a 24-0 lead in the first half, but the lowly Falcons (1-7 record) crawled back into the contest with a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter to make it a 13-point game.

The Seahawks were able to keep Atlanta at bay in the fourth, but it took a Bobby Wagner fumble recovery near the goal line on a play where Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman could have very well been ruled down before the ball was knocked loose by rookie safety Marquise Blair.

And then there’s the development with Justin Britt. A stalwart at center for the Seahawks over the last four seasons, it’s feared that Britt suffered a knee injury that could end his season.

Throw in the fact that Seattle’s defense struggled after halftime to stop an Atlanta offense led by backup quarterback Matt Schaub (460 yards on 39 for 52 passing), or that Seahawks running back Chris Carson ran for just 7 yards on seven carries in the second half, and it’s clear there are reasons to be concerned about the Seahawks coming out of this one.

Carson finished with a respectable 90 yards on 20 carries, including a touchdown, to lead Seattle on the ground. Tyler Lockett caught six passes for 100 yards, and Russell Wilson threw 14 for 20 for 182 yards and two touchdowns, both to DK Metcalf.

Here’s a quarter-by-quarter look at Seattle’s win:

First quarter

Seahawks 3, Falcons 0

The Seahawks took the lead on the opening drive of the game, but the three points scored on Jason Myers’ 42-yard field goal were overshadowed by what happened on Seattle’s offensive line.

That would be a left knee injury to Britt that left the 2016 Pro Bowl alternate in obvious pain on the ground. Britt left the game and it didn’t take long for the Seahawks to announce that the longest-tenured member of their starting O-line had been ruled out for the rest of the day. Joey Hunt took Britt’s place at center, and that might be a long-term replacement.

Seattle had a promising start on offense, picking up first downs on three of its first six plays. Once Britt went down, however, the Seahawks stalled out, gaining a yard on a Rashaad Penny run on the play Britt was injured followed by two incomplete pass attempts from Wilson. Myers was good on his field goal attempt, however, improving his season mark to 9 for 12 (he would end the game 10 for 13 on the season for 77% on field goals).

The Seahawks struggled the next time they got the ball, too. Though Carson ran for 6 yards and 7 yards on back-to-back carries to open the series then picked up 9 on a second-and-10 play, a holding call on the next snap by Hunt pushed Seattle back 10 yards, and Michael Dickson had to be called upon to punt – and punt he did with a 55-yard kick. Dickson had maybe his best game of the season, punting four times for 199 yards (including a long of 58) and an average of 49.8 yards per punt. Three of his punts were inside the 20.

The highlight on defense in the first quarter was Wagner, who made a pair of tackles to move into a tie with and then overtake former Seattle safety Eugene Robinson for the Seahawks’ all-time tackle record.

SEA – Jason Myers 42 FG (3-0 SEA), 11:17

Second quarter

Seahawks 24, Falcons 0

The Seahawks were in OK shape after the first quarter. After the second, they were ready to go into cruise control. Maybe a little too ready, as you’ll find out.

Nearly everything went right for Seattle in the second quarter, starting with a miss by Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant on a long field goal attempt and ending with Metcalf’s second touchdown catch of the day.

Though the Falcons reached the Seahawks’ 33 at the start of the quarter, their decision to kick on fourth-and-1 turned out to be the wrong one as Bryant was off on the 51-yard attempt.

Seattle took the short field and made the most of it, needing just six plays to go 59 yards and find the end zone on Wilson’s 4-yard strike to Metcalf.

The Seahawks’ defense got into the act on the next series, as linebacker Mychal Kendricks picked off Schaub (filling in for the injured Matt Ryan – Atlanta has a lot of Matts), giving Seattle the ball at Atlanta’s 46. The Seahawks relied on the running game to do most of the work on a seven-play, 46-yard TD drive that ended on a 1-yard run by Carson.

Atlanta tried another long field goal attempt on its next drive, and it had the same result – Bryant missed from 53 yards.

The Seahawks turned that opportunity into yet another touchdown, with Metcalf hauling in a 2-yard TD pass after Lockett made a pair of incredible catches.

Even the final play of the first half was a highlight for Seattle. Jadeveon Clowney was credited for a sack and Ziggy Ansah picked up a fumble by Schaub.

SEA – DK Metcalf 4 pass from Russell Wilson (Myers kick, SEA 10-0), 11:47
– Chris Carson 1 run (Myers kick, SEA 17-0), 4:46
SEA – Metcalf 2 pass from Wilson (Myers kick, SEA 24-0), :27

Third quarter

Seahawks 24, Falcons 11

It’s pretty hard to improve on a banner second quarter like the Seahawks had in Atlanta. Seattle didn’t even come close in a third quarter that was far from positive, because even though it maintained a lead against the lowly Falcons, Atlanta crawled back into the game.

The Falcons’ offense showed some life for the first time all day as it opened the second half with a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive capped off by a 23-yard run by Brian Hill that was the first sign of alarm even though Seattle led by 24 points before he crossed the goal line. Calvin Ridley came down with a pass from Schaub for a two-point conversion, cutting the Seahawks’ lead to 24-8.

The Falcons tacked on three points on a 47-yard field goal by Bryant, his first conversion on three attempts (and his first attempt under 51 yards), to make it a two-score game with 3:25 left in the quarter.

Seattle went three-and-out on both of its drives in the third quarter. The first series included an illegal formation penalty on first down and Wilson going down for a sack that ended a five-game drought for Atlanta’s defense (the Falcons added a second in the fourth quarter). The Seahawks finished the third having minus-8 yards to show for six official plays from scrimmage.

There was also more news on the injury front for Seattle. Defensive tackle Jarran Reed, who just returned a week prior from a six-game suspension, had to come out of the game though he returned on the next series.

ATL – Brian Hill 23 run (Calvin Ridley pass from Matt Schaub, 24-8 SEA), 10:54
– Matt Bryant 47 FG (24-11 SEA), 3:25

Fourth quarter

Seahawks 27, Falcons 20

Atlanta had the Seahawks on their heels entering the fourth quarter, and Seattle should be considered lucky in some respects to escape with the win.

The Falcons had the backs of Seattle’s defenders up against their own goal line early in the frame, but the ball was knocked loose by Marquise Blair on a Devonta Freeman run and Wagner recovered the fumble. The play was reviewed, and while it looked like Freeman was down before the ball came out of his grasp, it wasn’t conclusive enough for the officials to overturn and the Seahawks were given the ball at their own 6.

Wilson and the Seattle offense was able to drive all the way into Myers’ range, and Myers hit what turned out to be a very valuable 54-yard field goal that pushed the Seahawks’ lead to 27-11.

That was important because the Falcons stormed back down the field, eventually getting into the end zone on an 11-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a 1-yard pass from Schaub to Austin Hooper. The Seahawks were able to break up a pass intended for Hooper on the ensuing two-point conversion, though, maintaining Seattle’s two-score lead at 27-17, something afforded by that Myers field goal.

Seattle tight end Jacob Hollister smothered Atlanta’s onside kick, but the Seahawks failed to get a first down and opted to punt from the Falcons’ 45. Seattle was able to get Atlanta to use up all of its timeouts on the drive, though, leaving the Falcons with the ball at their own 14 needing to score twice with 2:36 left and the clock working against them.

Bryant kicked a 37-yard field goal with 1:17 left to cut Seattle’s advantage to seven points, but another onside kick went out of bounds and Seattle ran out the clock to clinch the victory.

SEA – Myers 54 FG (SEA 27-11), 5:53
– Austin Hooper 1 pass from Schaub (pass failed, SEA 27-17), 3:08
ATL – Bryant 37 FG (SEA 27-20), 1:17

Follow’s Brent Stecker on Twitter.

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