As should have been expected, the Seahawks destroyed the Falcons in Atlanta, 33-10. I say “should have been”, because … well, you know, the less-than-stellar performances against the Rams and Bucs and whatnot. But if those games never existed, if the Seahawks were fresh off their Week 7 beatdown of the Cardinals, then the result of today’s game would’ve been pretty much as expected. Instead everybody (myself included) fell victim to a recency bias, which with the NFL is a great way to look foolish. Of course, just conversing about future events in the NFL at all is a great way to look foolish. I mean, Kellen Clemens over Andrew Luck? By 30? In Indianapolis? Not even Dionne Warwick (nor former Bengals wide receiver Peter Warrick) could’ve foreseen that one.
Anyway, more about the game. Pete Carroll said, “It’s the best game we’ve played.” And who am I to disagree with Coach? The offense was a bit sluggish at the beginning, but it really got going after that sly Wilson-to-Lynch-to-Wilson-to-Kearse trick play that didn’t actually trick the Falcons but still worked because Jermaine Kearse made a great play on the ball. He’s turning into a legit one-on-one, up-for-grabs threat, which will be huge if he can keep it up, because it’s going to give Russell Wilson a nice outlet option when he gets blitzed. (There was another big play — a third down conversion — where Kearse just beat the defender to the spot where Wilson put the ball on a blitz.)
On the other side of the ball, the ‘Hawks style was impetuous and their defense was impregnable. The only touchdown the Falcons got was aided by a really weak roughing-the-passer penalty where it looked like Michael Bennett just sacked the quarterback. Matt Ryan didn’t even threw it. I honestly didn’t know a penalty could be assessed in such a situation. I guess it was the “Tom Brady rule”, where they deemed Bennett dove at Ryan’s legs, but man, that’s a tough penalty. I’m not big on criticizing the NFL for it’s sissification, but if you’re not allowed to tackle the quarterback by his legs when he’s holding the ball — that’s pretty weak. Jacquizz Rodgers sneaked a few decent runs in there, but overall the D gave up just 64 rushing yards, which being under 200 meant it was an improvement over the past two weeks. In total, Atlanta barely gained 200 yards (226 yards, 4.2 yards-per-play). On the road, against a quarterback like Matt Ryan, that’s pretty damn good.
But the win didn’t come completely cost-free. Brandon Browner hurt his groin, and Tony McDaniel hurt his hamstring. No word on how long they’re out yet. On the plus side of things, the 49ers lost to the Panthers. This really makes the Seahawks the favorite to win the division and get at least a two-seed. Although it’s slightly disappointing that my dueling 14-2 finish is no longer in play. Although it wouldn’t have been great as a Seahawks fan, because it would likely have meant the 49ers would’ve won the division, as a football fan, it would’ve been kinda cool.