Russell Wilson did all he could, but the Atlanta Falcons took advantage of the short-handed Seattle Seahawks for a 34-31 victory at CenturyLink Field on Monday.
The Seahawks (6-4) had won 11 straight games on Monday, the second-longest streak in NFL history. They have also been one of the most difficult teams to beat in Seattle, but have now lost their last two home games.
After the Falcons (6-4) grabbed a 34-23 lead with three minutes, 49 seconds remaining, Wilson quickly drove the Seahawks downfield to pull within three on a perfect 29-yard pass to Doug Baldwin, who ran right by Falcons cornerback Robert Alford.
Wilson then got the Seahawks in range for a 52-yard field goal try, but Blair Walsh was just short on the potential game-tying kick.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll also made some questionable decisions. He challenged an obvious incomplete pass to Baldwin early in the fourth quarter, and lost the challenge. The biggest headscratcher came on a fake field goal attempt before half-time. Instead of kicking a 34-yard field goal, the Seahawks tried a short pass to Luke Willson that was snuffed out by defensive tackle Grady Jarrett.
Those three points proved to be big and Jarrett played well the entire night, recording a sack, two tackles for loss and three quarterback hits.
THE LEGION OF BOOM IS NO MORE
The Seahawks were already playing without cornerback Richard Sherman, out for the year with a torn Achilles, and safety Kam Chancellor, who has a neck injury. Sherman's replacement, rookie Shaquill Griffin, then left early in the first quarter with a concussion. Even with an injury-depleted secondary, the Seahawks played the Falcons tough. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was 19 of 27 for 195 yards and two touchdowns as he saw his NFL-record streak of 64 consecutive games with at least 200 passing yards come to an end.
Even when the Seahawks had tight coverage, the Falcons receivers were still able to catch the ball – like Mohamed Sanu's one-handed grab for a two-yard touchdown that gave Atlanta an early 14-0 lead.
SEATTLE'S OFFENSIVE LINE STILL HAS ISSUES
The Seahawks tried to help their line issues by acquiring Pro Bowl tackle Duane Brown from the Texans, but things are not much better. The Falcons dropped Wilson three times and hit him another eight times.
Wilson is still playing at a high level and was able to make plays while scrambling. But with a run game that is almost non-existent, he cannot carry the offense by himself. Wilson ran for a game-high 86 yards and a touchdown. He threw for 258 yards with two scores and an interception on a 26-of-42 night. Wilson was the Seahawks' offense on Monday and, should he somehow will the Seahawks into the play-offs, he deserves to be named the NFL MVP.
UNCLEAR HOW GOOD FALCONS ARE
The Falcons have beaten up on the wounded Cowboys and Seahawks over the last two weeks, but this is still the team that lost at home to the Bills and Dolphins. Atlanta was walloped by the Patriots in a Super Bowl rematch, but still have a good chance of getting into the play-offs. It just likely will not be as a division champion with the Saints and Panthers playing well.
The Falcons do have a chance to gain ground with two games against the Saints over the next five weeks before a matchup with the Panthers in the regular-season finale. They also have two games remaining with the Buccaneers, beginning next week, as five of Atlanta's final six games are in the division. The only game outside of the division will be December 3 with another play-off litmus test against the Vikings.
|Mayweather: Nasukawa exhibition back on|
|Witsel: Joining Borussia Dortmund my best career decision|
|Ballon d´Or win would not change Modric´s ´best year´|
|Ireland v New Zealand: Opta stats behind the meeting of the world´s top two|
|The Breakdown: A statistical look at Saturday´s rugby internationals|
|Batshuayi dismisses reports of Valencia departure|
|Brazil must make Copa America final – Tite|
|Rockets rout Warriors as Green goes scoreless|
|Seahawks rally past Packers|
|Lakers G Rondo to miss 4-5 weeks|
|Durant is done with questions about Green|
|Smith, Warner set to return to IPL in 2019|
|No rivalry between Mbappe and Griezmann – Deschamps|
|Neymar: Emery will bring success to Arsenal|
|Jedvaj backs Croatia to deliver against England|
|Howell grabs first-round lead at Sea Island|
|Rooney backing Kane to break England record|
|Betts named American League MVP|
|Republic of Ireland must improve, says under-pressure O´Neill|
|Injured Sergio Ramos to leave Spain squad|
|Yelich named National League MVP|
|Low praises ´beautiful goals´ from Sane and Gnabry|
|Belgium boss Martinez pleased with patient Batshuayi|
|Wilson and Sancho pay tribute to England ´legend´ Rooney|
|Rooney gave England squad a lesson in humility - Southgate|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: LeBron passes Chamberlain, Williamson looking like he is next|
|We still have a chance - Luis Enrique not giving up hope after Spain defeat|
|Rockets ´parting ways´ with Anthony|
|Rooney became ´embarrassed´ at Manchester United|
|Federer: ´Easier´ to play when I´m up against it|
|Rooney convinced England are in safe hands with Southgate|
|Black Caps skipper Williamson confident over first Test availability|
|Federer cruises into last four of ATP Finals for 15th time|
|Republic of Ireland 0 Northern Ireland 0: Randolph saves light up bore draw|
|England 3 United States 0: Experimental side impresses on Rooney farewell|
|Croatia 3 Spain 2: Jedvaj keeps World Cup finalists in contention|
|Belgium 2 Iceland 0: Batshuayi rekindles Hazard flame with match-winning brace|
|Germany 3 Russia 0: Sane on target as Low´s men stroll|
|´Fancy taking a look at Brexit?´ - Southampton credit Austin with VAR breakthrough|
|Green: Altercation with Durant will make Warriors stronger|
|Juventus star Dybala dismisses Manchester United links|
|Strinic given all clear to return to AC Milan training|
|Papier wait over as scrum-half starts for Springboks|
|MLB commissioner Manfred gets five-year extension|
|South Africa international Du Preez joins brother at Sale|
|Pogba and Sterling support my football dream, says Bolt|
|Asensio wants to ´feel more important´ at Real Madrid|
|Former Roosters and Cowboys centre Linnett joins Hull KR|
|New team tournament ATP Cup wins Djokovic´s approval|
|Roma and Pallotta donate €150,000 to injured Liverpool fan Sean Cox|
|England captain Root reprimanded on frustrating day in Pallekele|
|Jokanovic proud of establishing Fulham´s ´footballing identity´|
|Huget to make first France appearance in a year|
|Mourinho and squad ´united´ despite ´mixed´ start, says Woodward|
|Petaia and Gordon to make Wallabies debuts in Padova|
|Barcelona star Arthur determined not to let Xavi praise go to his head|
|Youthful Netherlands have forged strong bond - Wijnaldum|
|Premier League confirms £5m package for departing chief Scudamore|
|Thiem blasts past Nishikori to keep semi-final hopes alive|
|He´s always got time for me – Gerrard loved learning from Liverpool boss Klopp|
|Kearney and Ringrose return for All Blacks clash|
|Molinari on course for Race to Dubai title, Smith and Otaegui lead|
|Premier League to implement VAR from 2019-20 season|
|FSF urges Premier League clubs to reject Scudamore ´golden handshake´ request|
|Rhinos pull off Merrin coup|
|Ribery apologises for reporter altercation|
|Ford to captain much-changed England, Cokanasiga starts|
|Crotty replaces injured Williams for Ireland showdown|
|Classy Roshen gives Sri Lanka unlikely lead|
|Injured Lukaku out of Belgium-Iceland Nations League clash|