The Atlanta Falcons beat the Seattle Seahawks 34-31 in front of a raucous crowd at CenturyLink Field. First, the Falcons started fast. On their first drive of the game, quarterback Matt Ryan led the Falcons on a 7 play, 52-yard drive that culminated with a Tevin Coleman touchdown. Atlanta led 7-0.
After the Falcons defense forced a Russell Wilson interception, the offense was right back on the attack. Ryan took the Dirty Birds 35 yards in 7 plays, ending with a Mohamed Sanu touchdown. The Falcons led the Seahawks 14-0.
“To play in this environment with the crowd tonight was going to be tough,” said Falcons head coach Dan Quinn. “Those were competitive, tough teams, we were going to battle for it in the biggest way.
“We talked about that connection between offensive and defense and special teams, almost like a relay team, passing the baton to the next group, to go after it again,” he continued. “Even talking to the staff yesterday morning, I had a sense that this game was going to come down to the ball.”
Speaking of which, with 14:13 remaining in the second quarter, rookie Takk McKinley sacked Wilson, forced the Seahawks signal caller to fumble and last week’s hero Adrian Clayborn recovered the ball and scored a touchdown, putting the Falcons up 21-7.
“So for us to be plus two in the turnover margin was a factor. We also talked about two minutes and four minutes at the end of the half. This team has been outstanding through the years in those two phases. That was a big part of what they [Seattle] did so well and that was going to be a challenge for us. It was tough in spots for a number of the guys. It was hard-fought all the way to the end as we expected.”
As the Seahawks were playing without stars Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor in the secondary, Matt Ryan calmly completed 19-of-27 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns. His streak of 64 straight games with at least 200 passing yards came to an end last night, however, he’s happier his team got the win.
“Yeah, I mean, it beats the alternative,” Ryan said. “You don’t have momentum going into it. So it is good for us. Obviously, winning games, finding ways to win, that is huge. Getting back is going to be great for us. We got a little bit more space to the one side of the new Mercedes Benz stadium. We are looking forward to getting back into the new stadium.”