Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 6/29/14

                 The Atlanta Falcons matchup with the Seattle Seahawks proved to be a tale of two halves for the Dirty Birds at CenturyLink Field. Things started out as perfect as possible for Atlanta, as the defense forced Seattle’s abysmal offense into a quick three-and-out and the offense drove down on the Seahawks defense, ending a 12 play, 72-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to Tony Gonzalez. Atlanta’s defense held Tavaris Jackson and Co. in check for two straight tries (3-and-out then INT by Curtis Lofton), allowing the Falcons offense to try and widen their lead a bit. They did this very thing on the fourth play of their drive, as Michael Turner took the ball and rumbled twenty-one yards down the field for a touchdown, his second of the season. Seattle then answered with a scoring drive of their own, cutting Atlanta’s lead to 14-7 on a 52-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to wide receiver Sidney Rice. The Falcons, still energized offensively, put together another scoring drive, moving the ball 44 yards on 11 plays and putting it in the end zone on a 1 yard run by Turner. Another three-and-out by the Seahawks gave the Falcons a chance to score yet again, which they did on a 49-yard field goal by Matt Bryant with 0:49 left in the second quarter. Limited by the time left, Seattle ran the clock out, determined to come out in the second half better prepared to stop Atlanta’s high-powered offense.

                The Falcons have to give Pete Carroll and the Seahawks coaching staff credit in this one, because the Seahawks came out ready to play some football in the second half while Atlanta came out and apparently were more concerned about the flight back home. As the Falcons came out and lolligagged around the field, determined to eat away an entire second half of football, Seattle was on the comeback trail, cutting the lead to 27-21 following touchdowns in the third quarter on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to Mike Williams and an 11-yard run by Marshawn Lynch. Following Lynch’s touchdown, the Falcons were put in a position in which they needed to respond, and even though their 57-yard drive was nice, it wasn’t good enough to put the game away, as it ended with a 42-yard field goal by Bryant, his third of the day. Now down by a score of 30-21, Tavaris Jackson, doing his best Brett Favre imitation, led the Seahawks on a mad dash to the end zone, completing an eight-yard pass to Ben Obomanu with 8:13 to cut the deficit to 30-28. The Falcons offense tried to take advantage and end any hope for a Seahawks comeback, but their drive ended with 1:49 left in the game. With 85 yards ahead of them, the Seahawks started moving the ball yet again, and it looked as if they had victory within their reach. However, an incomplete pass by Jackson on 3rd and 8 set up a 61-yard field goal for Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka, whose career high was 54 yard back in 2008. Unfortunately for the Seahawks fans, Hauschka’s kick was well short, ending what looked like an improbable come-from-behind victory for the Seahawks and giving all of Dirty Bird Nation a chance to catch their breath.

Stats

Passing: Predicted Ryan throws for 246 passing yards with 2 TDs and 0 INTs Actual Ryan threw for 291 passing yards with 1 TD and 0 INTs.
Rushing: Predicted Turner takes 23 carries for 111 yards and 1 TD Actual Turner took 26 carries for 70 yards and 2 TDs.
Receiving: Predicted Roddy White makes 7 receptions for 91 yards and 1 touchdown. Actual White made 6 receptions for 78 yards with 0 touchdowns. Rookie Julio Jones led the team with 11 receptions for 127 yards.

                Even though Atlanta looked great in the first half of this game, the struggles in the second half raise major red flags for this entire team. The Falcons offense was non-existent in the third and fourth quarter, managing 9 first downs and 6 points through the most important 30 minutes of football, and the defense was a joke, allowing a putrid Seahawks offense to put up 372 total yards (319 through the air). While the Falcons got extremely lucky in stopping the Seahawks late, it’s clear that this team  has a lot of work to do if it wants to compete with the defending Super Bowl champs next Sunday night.  

Can the Falcons take the title belt away from Green Bay come Sunday night?

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Wolves trade Corey Brewer to the Rockets

Yankees trade Prado to Marlins for Eovaldi in 5-player deal

Brandon Browner fined $8K for throwing Brandon Gibson to turf

Report: Sharper, NFLers called spiked drinks 'horny juice'

Rex Ryan: My wife could coach Tom Brady

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jim Harbaugh won in laser tag by 'hunting' 10-year-old kid

Eddie Lacy is ‘very blind,’ refuses to wear goggles

Michael Phelps pleads guilty to DUI, gets probation

NFL scouts not in love with Amari Cooper?

Report: No teams interested in trading for Lance Stephenson

It is not Chip Kelly's fault if Eagles miss playoffs

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

Video: Grizzlies buy car for assistant who had his stolen

Video: LeBron takes pass to the face from Dion Waiters

New video of Ray Rice incident emerges

President Obama calls James Franco “James Flacco”

NBA games of the weekend: Rondo's Dallas debut, Bulls-Grizz

Tuscaloosa students will have two days off if Bama plays in National Championship

Brady scares the **** out of his teammates celebrating

Longhorn Network’s yule log? Five hours of BEVO

Will a Chiefs WR finally catch a TD in Week 16?

Jon Lester and the Cubs

The Toronto Raptors reveal their new logo

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Top 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

Phelps gets probation for DUI

NFL coaches on hot seat in Week 16

The Roy Williams-Terrell Owens horse collar turns 10

Most underpaid NFL players in 2014

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.