What an impressive way to start the season for Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks.
It was a very unique Sunday across the NFL. Most teams had no fans allowed into the stadiums during the games, outside of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The no fans experiment may have helped or hurt some teams, but the football action was beautiful to watch.
I know we all missed this, right?
A nice relaxing NFL Sunday. Well, this Sunday the Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons matched up in Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The game itself was loaded with big plays from both teams, on both sides of the ball.
Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan both had very productive games here in Week One. The trio of Falcons wide receivers I discussed in my preview article, all had monster games. In the end, Seattle made enough plays on defense to get stops when they needed some.
The Falcons started off fairly strong, with an opening drive field goal to go up three. The Falcons got new running back Todd Gurley going early on the first possession with the squad as well. After that first drive Seattle, settled in and never looked back. Russell Wilson connected with running back Chris Carson on a pair of receiving touchdowns late in the quarter to cap off two great drives from the offense. This was just the beginning of two monster quarterback performances. The score was 14-3 at the start of the second quarter. Seattle looked very comfortable early, despite having a number of new pieces on both sides of the ball. Jamal Adams looked very energized and played with a lot of passion early in the game. He finished the game with 12 total tackles and his first sack with his new team.
Early in the Second Quarter, Todd Gurley scored his first rushing touchdown with the Falcons on a one-yard run. Atlanta’s defense also stepped up in this quarter. Sacks from Grady Jarrett and Dante Fowler Jr., helped this defense slow down the Seahawks. The Seahawks struggled to put drives together and finish those drives with points. They were held without a score throughout the quarter. Halftime score was a very close, 14-12. Both teams were still adjusting and trying to get to that real in-game speed, since there was no preseason this year. Overall, a solid half for both teams so far in the game but nothing too major.
I like to say during games, whatever team wins the third quarter, wins the game. At halftime both teams get to make adjustments and try to come up with plays that will work in the second half. So, usually teams who come out hard and fast in the third quarter, go on to win the game. That case proved to be true in this game, Seattle won the quarter 14-0, and really took over the game here. After Wilson hit wide receiver DK Metcalf on a 38-yard deep ball, and new addition Greg Olsen on a seven-yard score; the Seahawks went up in the game 28-12. They played great all around in the quarter. Jamal Adams made a few plays in the run game, Russell Wilson really came on, and Quinton Dunbar made a pair of plays breaking up a few passes. Seattle controlled the game heading into the fourth quarter.
Some fireworks for fantasy football owners went off here. 23 total points in the quarter (most of any quarter during the game), and a few touchdowns to end it. All the Seahawks had to do was manage the clock and close this game out to start 1-0. That is exactly what they did, but not without a few garbage time touchdowns. Jason Myers hit a 42-yard field goal to give the Seahawks an even bigger lead of 31-12. The Falcons went into desperation mode and tried to score through the air quickly. Matt Ryan hit Calvin Ridley for a pair of touchdowns in the quarter, but it was not nearly enough to make a comeback. Carlos Hyde capped off an impressive day for the Seahawks offense with a one-yard touchdown run with 3:45 left in the game. The Seahawks defense got just enough stops on this versatile offense of the Falcons to give their team the win. The final score of the game was 38-25. Russell Wilson and Jamal Adams led the Seahawks to a Week One victory. The score ended up being a lot closer than the game actually was in the end.
Matt Ryan did about all he could do on Sunday to keep up with Russell Wilson and Co., but it wasn’t enough in the end. Wilson had a stellar start to his 2020 NFL season, going 31-of-35 for 322 yards and 4 touchdowns. Matt Ryan threw for 450 yards, but was only 37/54 and also had a late interception to end the game. He has a really nice trio of wide receivers, a three-headed monster if you will. Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Russell Gage all had nine receptions each in this game. The combined yardage totals of 157, 130, and 114 gave the three-headed monster a total of 401 receiving yards out of Matt Ryan’s 450.
A major takeaway in the game was the lack of 4th down success for the Falcons. They were 0-4 on the day and that ultimately led to the score being what it was. In future games, the Falcons need to do a better job of converting long drives into points, rather than coming away with nothing. The Seahawks offense did not have near the total yards that the Falcons ended with, but had 13 more points in the game.
DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett led the way in receiving for the Seahawks. DK Metcalf finished the game with four catches, 95 yards, and a touchdown to help please his fantasy owners. Tyler Lockett finished the game with eight catches for 92 yards. Jamal Adams finished his day with a spite to the Jets Organization. Jamal Adams, was asked what is what like watching Wilson and Seattle’s offense score 38 points. His response was, ” I’m not used to it.”
Situational defense, and Seattle dominating when it mattered ultimately led to the finish of this game. The Atlanta Falcons will look to improve on their 0-1 record as they get set to travel to Dallas, Texas next week to take on the Cowboys (0-1). The Seattle Seahawks will look to continue their strong start to the 2020 season on Sunday night at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks will host the New England Patriots, and former MVP Cam Newton next week, on primetime.