It was a blowout, and then it wasn't. The Seattle Seahawks took a 24-0 lead into halftime, but the Atlanta Falcons still found a way to make a game of it. Atlanta made it a seven-point game in the final minutes with a late field goal, but the ensuing onside kick sailed out of bounds to secure Seattle's win. The Seahawks prevailed, 27-20, improving to 6-2. The Falcons have now lost six in a row and dropped to 1-7 on the season.
Here are three takeaways as Seattle has reached the midway point of its 2019 season.
1. Seahawks force three takeaways
Three takeaways helped mask a leaky Seattle defense. The Seahawks allowed 512 total yards as Julio Jones carved up the secondary all game long. Jones ended with 10 catches for 152 yards on 12 targets. Matt Schaub threw for a whopping 460 yards in what was his first start since 2015. At one point, trailing 24-11, Atlanta had the ball at Seattle's 8-yard line. Devonta Freeman then fumbled at the 1-yard line after catching a 7-yard pass. Rookie Marquise Blair forced the fumble and Bobby Wagner recovered. A touchdown there would have made it a 5-point game in the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Mychal Kendricks had his first interception of the season, picking off Matt Schaub over the middle on a short throw intended for Jones. The final takeaway came on the last play of the first half. Schaub was looking for a hail mary down field but was sacked by Jadeveon Clowney before he could get rid of the football. Schaub fumbled and Ziggy Ansah recovered. All things considered, the turnover was largely irrelevant to the outcome of the game. It's important to win the turnover battle, but Seattle's defense showed it still has plenty of flaws it needs to clean up.
2. Russell Wilson, still the MVP
Wilson made several exceptional throws and finished the game with 182 yards and two touchdowns. He hardly threw the ball in the second half as Seattle kept things ultra conservative. Two of his best passes were over-the-shoulder throws to Tyler Lockett despite incredibly tight coverage. Wilson fit the throws into impossibly tight windows, and the catches by Lockett were equally as impressive. Wilson had another ridiculous pass to DK Metcalf deep down the right sideline, but the rookie dropped it in the end zone. Metcalf did have two touchdowns on the day as he got wide open for a 4-yard and a 2-yard score, both in the second quarter.
Lockett caught all six of his targets for 100 yards. Metcalf had three receptions for 13 yards and the two scores.
3. Chris Carson just misses fourth 100-yard game of 2019
Carson did nearly all of his damage first half, but it was another vintage day for Seattle's punishing running back. At the end of a 19-yard run in the first half, Carson lowered his shoulder into Falcons defensive back Kendall Sheffield, planting the defender into the turf. On his 1-yard touchdown run, Carson was again looking for contact at the goal line, but a few defenders pulled up and made business decisions as Carson took the ball into the end zone.
Carson finished with 90 yards and the one score. Rashaad Penny chipped in with 55 yards on eight carries.
Odds and ends:
- Justin Britt suffered what is feared to believe a season-ending knee injury. Joey Hunt will be the team's center moving forward unless Seattle trades for one ahead of Tuesday's NFL trade deadline.
- Seattle tinkered with the lineup at several spots on Sunday. George Fant got one series at left tackle in place of Duane Brown. Neiko Thorpe played a series in place of Akeem King. Cody Barton saw one series of action in place of K.J. Wright. Jamarco Jones played one series in place of Mike Iupati. No injuries were reported for any player.
- Clowney jumped offsides twice and Ansah jumped offsides once, just adding to the sloppy game from Seattle's defense.