It was the battle of the birds (at first) until Russell Wilson marked Mercedez Benz Stadium as his territory by throwing four touchdown passes to lead the Seahawks to a 30-25 victory on Sunday.
Wilson completed 31 out of 35 passes to nine different receivers for 322 yards. He also carried the ball three times rushing for 29 yards.
“We wanted to spread the ball around,” Wilson said after the win. “We wanted to get the ball to a lot of different guys. We wanted to be aggressive in our approach.”
Falcons Celebrate Too Early
The Falcons thought they were in control after Todd Gurley scored his first touchdown of the season early on in the first quarter, then Russell took the reigns.
Pete Carroll said Russell had “total command” of the game.
21 of their first 35 plays were in the air. In the first half, Wilson dished out seven passes and ran the ball two times. Seahawks went into the locker room at the half leading 14-12. In the third quarter, Wilson tallied two more touchdowns leaving the Falcons sinking on their home turf.
Seattle made their biggest play after Atlanta made a solid stop on the third down with fourth-an-5 at the Atlanta 38.
Instead of going for the first down, Wilson lobbed a beautiful pass to DK Metcalf who took it to the house. Seahawks led 21-12.
“They made a good stop on third down and were all celebrating,” Wilson said. “I looked at the sideline and said, `OK, let’s go after ’em.’ I wanted to be aggressive.”
Falcons Attempt Fake Punt
Atlanta’s biggest mistake was attempting a fake punt on fourth-and-2 from its own 33.
Sharrod Neasman took a direct snap and had open space only to fumble the back. Seahawks’ Fredding Swain recovered the ball at the 36.
Wilson’s fourth and final touchdown of the game came five players later to newcomer Greg Olsen.
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Falcons Win Something
As if Dan Quinn wasn’t already in the hot seat, well he better turn it around quickly. But, at least Atlanta was about to win out in something.
The Falcons ended the game with three receivers collecting over 100 receiving yards; Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Russell Gage. Atlanta covered 506 yards while Seahawks only had 383. Atlanta came up a little too short failing to convert on fourth down.
“We had some really positive runs in the first half”, Matt Ryan said post-game. “Our offensive line did a nice job. We just got stalled out a little bit.”
Ryan also added that Atlanta needs to find a way to convert on fourth downs to make it a different ball game.
On a brighter note, there’s still hope after Atlanta had players break some NFL marks despite the loss.
Matt Ryan surpassed John Elway at No. 9 on the NFL career passing yardage list. Ryan ended Sunday completing 37 of 54 passes for 450 yards and one touchdown which would make his second-highest yardage total in 13 seasons.
Julio Jones jumped right below Antonio Brown becoming the second-fastest receiver to reach 800 catches in 127.
Setting new benchmarks is cool, but they weren’t enough to beat Seattle.