Monday, October 3, 2011

Seahawks comeback falls short loses to Falcons 30-28

By Kshell

The Seattle Seahawks(1-3) found themselves trailing 27-7 to the Atlanta Falcons(2-2) in a game at home. The Seahawks stormed back to pull within 30-28 but a 61 yard field goal attempt by Steve Hauschka was wide left as the Seahawks fell just short. The Seahawks offense easily played their best ball of the season in the second half led by Tarvaris Jackson who threw for over 300 yards. He also threw for three touchdowns once again connecting on a deep pass to Sidney Rice. The Seahawks defense couldn't stop Matt Ryan early in the game while Michael Turner scored two touchdowns as well. The Seahawks were torched by the Falcons receiver duo of Julio Jones and Roddy White. The Seahawks will now have to go on the road for the next two weeks after falling to 1-3 their worst start since 2009 when they went 5-11.

The game started off terribly for the Seahawks as they went three and out. The Falcons took over on their own 28 yard line would go on a 12 play 72 yard drive having taken up over seven minutes on the drive. The drive would begin with two straight runs to Turner for nine yards. On third and one Ryan would hit Julio Jones for a five yard gain. After no gain, Ryan would complete a pass to Tony Gonzalez for a gain of nine yards. Turner would rush for three yards to record the first down to the Seahawks 46 yard line. Former Oregon State running back Jacquiz Rodgers would rush for seven yards then follow that up with an 11 yard run to the Seahawks 28 yard line. Ryan would connected on a pass over the middle to White for a gain of 26 yards to the Seahawks one yard line. After the Seahawks stopped Turner on the one yard line the Falcons finally punched the ball through. Ryan on a play action pass threw the ball perfectly over the head of K.J.Wright to Gonzalez for the one yard touchdown to give the Falcons a 7-0 lead. The Falcons would have to wait until the second quarter before they would erupt on the Seahawks.

In the second quarter the Falcons would take advantage of a mistake by the Seahawks. The Seahawks on their own 36 yard saw Tarvaris Jackson throw an interception which was returned to the Seahawks 37 yard line. The boo birds were coming out on Jackson at that point although the Seahawks failures weren't resting just squarely on his shoulders. With the ball deep into Seattle territory didn't take long for the Falcons to score a touchdown. The drive would start off with Ryan hitting Turner with an eight yard completion to the Seahawks 29 yard line. Ryan would follow that up with an eight yard run of his own to the Seahawks 21 yard line. After an incompletion that is when Turner would score on a 21 yard touchdown run to his left. Turner simply out ran the Seahawks secondary for that touchdown to give the Falcons a 14-0 lead. The Seahawks were in desperate need to strike back against a team who was 13-3 just a year ago. The Seahawks offense which had showed no signs this season of making this into a game would survive their own fan base on the following drive. As for the Falcons this was just the start to a very big second quarter which saw the Falcons score 17 points.

After a horrible kickoff return the Seahawks began down 14-0 on their own 16 yard line. The drive would start off with a Marshawn Lynch two yard run to the 18 yard line. Jackson would throw an incomplete pass setting up a third and eight on the 18 yard line. That is when Jackson would show the Seahawks 12th man a glimpse of what he is capable of doing. Jackson would hit rookie receiver Doug Baldwin for a 30 yard gain to their own 48 yard line. On the following play Jackson would have a hard count causing the Falcons to jump offsides which meant a free play for the Seahawks offense. Jackson looked to his right and saw his former Minnesota teammate Sidney Rice wide open as he hit him with a perfect pass. Rice would walk into the endzone untouched for the 52 yard touchdown pass by Jackson to cut the lead down to 14-7. The Seahawks were right back in the game. Unfortunately, the Seahawks would have that quick momentum taken away as the defense still couldn't stop the Falcons.

The Falcons would respond by going on an 11 play, 72 yard drive which lasted over six minutes. The drive would begin with Ryan completing a pass to Turner for a gain of 10 yards. Facing a third and 13 from their own 35 yard line Ryan would hit rookie receiver Julio Jones for a gain of 29 yards to the Seahawks 36 yard line. On third and seven from the Seahawks 33 yard line Ryan would hit White for a gain of 15 yards to the Seahawks 18 yard line. Ryan would hit White again for a gain of 16 yards to the Seahawks two yard line. After a short run by Turner to the one yard line, Turner would finish the drive off in style. It had appeared Turner was going to be stopped short but instead he did his best Bo Jackson impression making LeRoy Hill his Brian Bosworth. Turner scored on the touchdown giving the Falcons a 21-7 lead. The Falcons would force a three and out while then going on a nine play drive which accounted for 33 yards. The half would end when Matt Bryant would drill the 47- yard field goal giving the Falcons a commanding 24-7 lead at halftime.

The Falcons would begin the second half with the ball on their own 20 yard line. Ryan would once again hit Jones for a gain of 45 yards to the Seahawks 35 yard line. The Seahawks would stop the Falcons after that forcing a long field goal attempt by Bryant again going into the Hawks Nest. Bryant would drill the 50-yard field goal to give the Falcons a 27-7 lead which had everyone thinking this game was going to get ugly. The Falcons to that point were not being stopped and minus one long pass the Seahawks offense wasn't doing anything. Well that would change as the Seahawks offense would finally wake up to make this into a game again.

The Seahawks would receive a nice 36 yard return from Leon Washington to their own 39 yard line. Lynch would rush for three yards, then catch a pass for five yards setting up a third and two. Justin Forsett would rush for three yards giving the Seahawks a first down at midfield. Jackson would once again hit his rookie receiver Baldwin for a gain of 20 yards to the Falcons 30 yard line. Jackson would dump the ball off to Washington for a gain of four yards to the Falcons 26 yard line to set up a third and six. That is when Jackson would hit a receiver who hasn't been thrown to very much this season. Jackson would connect with Mike Williams for a gain of 19 yards. After a short gain by Washington then an incomplete pass the Seahawks were facing a third and goal. Jackson would connect with Williams for the six yard touchdown to pull the Seahawks within 27-14. For Williams that was his first touchdown reception of the season.

What would transpire next involved plenty of momentum swings. The Seahawks would record a stop on the Falcons. Then  on their own 28 yard line Jackson would complete a 26 yard pass to Lynch to the Falcons 46 yard line. He would then hit Baldwin for a gain of 11 yards. Jackson would complete a pass to Forsett for a gain of 17 yards to the Falcons 18 yard line. Jackson would throw an interception intended for Zach Miller to the Falcons five yard line. Seattle would then force a three and out. Washington would take the punt 33 yards to the Falcons 11 yard line. The Seahawks would waste little time as they handed the ball to Lynch. Lynch would bust the run for 11 yards for the touchdown. That touchdown would close the lead to 27-21 and for Lynch that would be his first touchdown of the season.
taken by Jimmy Hickey

The Falcons would go on a 13 play, 57 yard drive which took up six and a half minutes of clock. The drive would start on their own 20 yard line with Ryan hitting Jones for a gain of four yards. He would hit White for eight yards. On the 30 yard line Ryan would hit Gonzalez for a 22 yard gain to the Seahawks 48 yard line. On third and two from the Seahawks 40 yard line the Seahawks committed a five yard penalty give the Falcons a first down. Facing a third and eight from the Seahawks 33 yard line Ryan would hit Rodgers for a gain of 10 yards to the Seahawks 23 yard line. The Seahawks defense would deny them of the endzone which brought on Bryant again. Bryant would make the 42 yard field goal to give the Falcons a 30-21 lead. Due to a poor kickoff the Seahawks would still have life left in them.

The Seahawks would respond with a nine play, 60 yard touchdown drive to make the game interesting. Lynch would begin the drive with a six yard run to the Seahawks 46 yard line, Jackson would complete a pass to Ben Obomanu for a gain of 12 yards to the Falcons 42 yard line. Jackson would rush up the middle for a gain of 13 yards to the Falcons 29 yard line. Facing a critical third and nine Jackson would connect with Baldwin for a gain of 16 yards to the Falcons 13 yard line. Lynch would rush for two yards then catch a pass for another two yards which set up a critical third and six from the eight yard line. Jackson would scramble around buying time for his receivers to find a way to be open. Then Jackson found Obomanu wide open on the left side of the end zone for the easiest touchdown pass of his career. That would be Jackson's third touchdown pass of the game and more importantly pulled the Seahawks to within 30-28. The Falcons wouldn't score but would go on a 13 play, 37 yard drive while taking up over six minutes. By the time they punted the ball to the Seahawks there was only 1:49 left in the game. The Seahawks were starting from their own 15 yard line with only one timeout left in the game hoping to complete the comeback.

With the odds stacked against them Jackson would start the drive off with a nine yard pass to Forsett to the Seahawks 24 yard line. Forsett would rush up the middle for a gain of eight yards to the Seahawks 32 yard line. Jackson would complete a pass to Forsett for a gain of three yards, then to Baldwin for a gain of seven yards to their own 42 yard line. Jackson would hit Zach Miller for a gain of 13 yards to the Falcons 45 yard line with 22 seconds left. The Seahawks would spike the ball then see Rice be called for a false start pushing the ball back to the 50 yard line. Jackson would hit Miller for a gain of seven yards but would miss his throw on third down. Facing a fourth and eight with one timeout remaining the Seahawks elected to attempt the 61 yard field goal. Hauschka would miss the kick wide left as the Falcons would hang on for the 30-28 win improving to 2-2 while the Seahawks would fall to 1-3.

The Falcons controlled the time of possession for a little over 40 minutes as they put up 412 yards of total offense. The Falcons were led by Matt Ryan who was 28-42(66.7%) passing for 291 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. Ryan also ran for 26 yards as well. Ryan's favorite targets were Julio Jones who had 11 receptions for 127 yards(11.5 YPC) and Roddy White who had six receptions for 78 yards(13.0 YPC). Ryan also hit hit tight end Tony Gonzalez for seven receptions for 56 yards(8.0 YPC) with a touchdown. Michael Turner carried the ball 26 times for 70 yards(2.7 YPC) with two touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 18 yards to help the Falcons build an early lead on the Seahawks. The Falcons scored three touchdowns and three long field goals due to Matt Bryant to earn the victory on the road over the Seahawks.

For the Seahawks who saw their comeback effort fall just short they were led by Tarvaris Jackson. Jackson to date had his best game as a Seahawks quarterback completing 25 of his 38 passes(65.8%) for 319 yards(8.4 YPA) with three touchdowns to two interceptions for a quarterback rating of 96.3. Jackson also ran for 16 yards during the game. This game Jackson spread the ball around to his receivers. Doug Baldwin led the team with five receptions for 84 yards(16.8 YPC). He was followed up by Sidney Rice who had three receptions for 79 yards(26.3 YPC) with a touchdown. Mike Williams had three receptions for 36 yards(12.0 YPC) with a touchdown, Justin Forsett had three for 30 yards(10.0 YPC), Ben Obomanu had three for 25 yards with a touchdown. Zach Miller had three receptions for 21 yards while Marshawn Lynch had three for 33 yards.  Lynch also had just 24 yards rushing(3.0 YPC) with a touchdown on the day. The Seahawks fell behind early and couldn't run the ball effectively so they had no choice but to go to the air. Although the Seahawks lost at least for now Jackson quieted his home fan base from booing him after every incomplete pass.

All in all, the Seahawks must find a way to come out better in the first half. This season Pete Carroll has seen his team fall behind 19-0 in week one, 17-0 at halftime in week two, trailing 10-6 at halftime in week three to trailing this week 27-7. The Seahawks went toe to toe with one of the better teams in the NFC but in the NFL you are measured by wins and losses. The Seahawks are 1-3 as they are two games behind the San Francisco 49ers who hold tiebreaker so in reality they are two and a half games back. The Seahawks dropped a golden opportunity to jump into the NFC West race which is currently being held by Alex Smith and his 49ers. For the Seahawks to be successful for the rest of the year they have to match what their opponent is doing in the first half or this is going to be a very long season.


- I thought Tarvaris Jackson played his best game as a Seahawks quarterback. He actually played better than any regular season game Matt Hasselbeck played in last season as well. Jackson completed 65.8% of his passes for 319 yards with three touchdowns. Of his two interceptions one wasn't his fault. The reason the Seahawks were back in this game was because Jackson was making plays with his arm. Jackson had seven different receivers with at least three receptions in the game showing he was sharing the wealth.

For the season Jackson has completed 62.2% of his passes for 846 yards(6.3 YPA) with five touchdowns passing and four interceptions. He has a quarterback rating of 80.0. Jackson won't make you forget about Hasselbeck but it is time for the fans to give him a chance. If he is playing terrible then yea you can boo him but during today that was getting annoying. Jackson was the only reason the Seahawks even had a chance at the end of the game.

- For Pete Carroll this was a tough loss as the Seahawks fall to 1-3 and he falls to 8-12 as Seahawks head coach. I felt Carroll blew it at the end of the game by attempting the 61 yard field goal. The best chance was to let Jackson complete that fourth and eight pass then call timeout to kick the game winning field goal. Carroll did have his team ready and I will say the Seahawks aren't quitting on him like they did last year when they lost nine games by 15 points or more. The Seahawks have twice this year almost came back from large deficits only to fall short. In the NFL you have complete those comebacks or else you are in for a rough season. The Seahawks are now 1-3 with two east coast games then the bye week. This is the most critical stretch of the season for the Seahawks. Lose both games your season is over. Even a split will put the Seahawks at 2-4 which will make it hard to recover from that.

In conclusion, the Seahawks lost a winnable game today which is going to hurt going forward. If the Seahawks had any chances of being a playoff team they needed to win today's game in my opinion. Like I said for a franchise who hasn't won on the east coast since 2007 playing the New York Giants in New  York will be a tough challenge. The Seahawks can't afford to go 1-4 with another road game. This is critical to see if this season will matter or if the fans will be doing mock drafts by Halloween. For the Seahawks they can't accept close losses anymore they must find ways to win games like today or their season is in danger of being irrelevant.

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