Coming into Sunday afternoon’s game with the Seattle Seahawks, expectations were already impossibly low for the Atlanta Falcons. However, the team still managed fall short of them in a hapless loss, 33-10.
In the early going, the Falcons struggled to generate offense, but thanks to some timely defensive stops, Seattle led only 3-0 after the first quarter. Then, early in the 2nd frame, the two teams exchanged field goals, keeping the Falcons with 3 points, but following that, the wheels came off in a significant way.
Seattle unleashed some trickeration in the form of a 43-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse (had to see this one to believe it) to extend the lead to 13-3, and then followed that up with 10 additional points (including a 6-yarder to Golden Tate at the gun) to put the Falcons in a 23-3 hole. The Tate touchdown effectively ended the game after giving the Falcons a 20-point deficit, but this one was over long before that, as Atlanta simply couldn’t generate any type of push on either line of scrimmage.
Only one member of the Falcons (Jonathan Babineaux) was seemingly able to hold his own on either line of scrimmage, and the Seahawks took up residence in the backfield against Matt Ryan. That pass rush helped to force Ryan into a subpar game (172 yards on 36 attempts), and the lack of a running game (16 carries for 64 yards) certainly didn’t help things. Not even a semi-healthy Roddy White and a completely healthy Tony Gonzalez (who was blanketed by Kam Chancellor throughout) could spark the offense, and only Jacquizz Rodgers seemed to have any sort of burst.
Frankly, I could assess blame in just about every location on the Falcons roster, but simply put, Seattle was a much, much better team in every facet of the game on Sunday. That could be illustrated by total yardage (490 to 226) or by the scoreboard, but the “eye test” gave Seattle a decisive edge, and that was supported by the margin of victory.
The Falcons, now at 2-7, are firmly in “play out the string” mode at this point, and even the faintest hope of relevant games in December and January likely went by the wayside here. It’s time to adjust expectations (if they weren’t already), and this showing was about as flat as the score indicates.