5 key takeaways
- The Seahawks defense gave up 21 points in the third quarter, including two long touchdown passes in which the Falcons receivers were wide open.
- The officials did not call an apparent pass interference by Richard Sherman on the Falcons’ final offensive play which would have extended the drive.
- Russell Wilson was solid again, but still wearing a knee brace and with ankles taped. He went 25-of-37 for 270 yards and no TDs.
- Christine Michael had 18 carries for 64 yards and two touchdowns, adding 3 catches for 19 yards.
- Seahawks (4-1) extended their lead in the NFC West after the Rams (3-3) lost to the Lions 31-28.
SEATTLE -- The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Atlanta Falcons 26-24 Sunday, surviving an odd 3rd quarter defensive collapse and a questionable non-call by the officials in the final two minutes.
And Richard Sherman was in the middle of all of it.
The Seahawks dominated the first half on the way to a 17-3 halftime lead. Matt Ryan was sacked three times, fumbled once and only threw for 76 yards in the first two quarters.
The Seahawks offense looked good in the first half, still sporting a knee brace and heavily taped ankles. He was 11-of-15 for 135 yards in leading two touchdown drives. Tight end Jimmy Graham continued his excellent play this season with 62 yards receiving in the first half.
Photos: Falcons vs. Seahawks
Then the Falcons offense woke up in the third quarter and Seattle fell asleep on both sides of the ball. Falcons receivers got wide open time and again. Two blown coverages led to a 36 yard TD catch for Julio Jones and 46 yard TD by Levine Toilolo to build a 24-17 lead late in the third quarter.
Sherman was visibly upset and had to be calmed down by teammates after the Jones touchdown.
"We misplayed the plays," said head coach Pete Carroll, adding that he thinks the team will look past the incident.
"There's no doubt. These guys have been through too much together, They care too much about one another. I'm not worried about it one bit," said Carroll.
A much happier Sherman explained what was up after the game,
"It was just a miscommunication. Kelcie (McCray) hasn't in the defense that long. We tried to make an adjustment and just miscommunication. Frustrated on the play," said Sherman. "We should not ever give them points. We could have stopped them. We could have held them to nothing."
Visibly absent was safety Kam Chancellor, who sat out this game with a groin injury,
Things were made worse when defensive end Michael Bennett was taken to the locker room with a knee injury. He was hit low on a block. Carroll described it after the game as a "sore" knee but nothing serious.
The Seahawks finally woke up and got the ball moving again in the fourth quarter, but a potential scoring drive was broken up by a low snap on a 29-yard field goal attempt. Steven Hauschka hooked it just left of the uprights with 11:30 left in the fourth.
Fortunately for them, the defense shored itself up and held the Falcons scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Wilson led an impressive 70-yard drive that ended with a Christine Michael 1-yard touchdown run. But the Falcons blocked Hauschka's extra point to keep Atlanta up 24-23 with just over four minutes left.
Seattle's defense then made their biggest play of the game. Ryan's tipped pass was juggled then intercepted by safety Earl Thomas, and he returned it to the 50.
Wilson led the Seahawks far enough to set up a Hauschka 44-yard field goal to make it 26-24 with 1:57 to play.
On the final Falcons drive, Ryan heaved the ball downfield to Jones on fourth down. Jones was double-covered, and the ball fell incomplete. But the replay showed Sherman had a hold of Jones' right arm before the ball got there. The Seahawks held on for the win despite the protests of angry Falcons head coach Dan Quinn.
Tight end Luke Willson will have an MRI Monday after leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury.