I don’t think the word “controversial” quite sums up the ending to the showdown between the Seattle Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons. Seattle overcame Atlanta 26-24 under VERY questionable circumstances. As expected, both teams didn’t disappoint as they showed why the #1 ranked defense and the #1 ranked offensive titles were given to each. However, the ending which involved a clear uncalled defensive pass interference call, was the talk of the game. Seattle’s secondary leader Richard Sherman, who was getting more frustrated by the second with the difficult task of guarding Julio Jones, got away with the call that could have changed the outcome.
The now 4-2 Falcons leave Seattle (4-1) with another loss and possibly a loss at the hands of the officiating crew as well. It had to be one of the most blatant non calls I’ve ever witnessed. Social media is plastered with numerous images and angles of Richard Sherman clearly grabbing Julio Jones’ right arm as he attempted to haul in a bomb from Matt Ryan on 4th down. Dan Quinn was seen irately sprinting up the sideline to argue with officials, but the damage was done. Not taking much away from the Seahawks however, because they definitely played as advertised racking up 4 sacks, hitting Ryan 14 times, and only allowing 52 rushing yards from Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman combined. They also managed one forced fumble and interception coming off of a tipped ball by Julio Jones late in the 4th quarter.
The Falcons showed their tenacity by diminishing a 14-point deficit where Matt Ryan threw 3 TD passes in the third quarter. That is the most TD passes allowed in a quarter by Seattle in 5 seasons. Ryan ended the game with 335 yards. Julio Jones played his role as expected with 7 catches for 139 yards with a TD and really gave Richard Sherman a hard time. At one point Sherman was seen having a meltdown on the sideline clearly frustrated with the task of guarding the best receiver in the league. That match up met again at the end of the game in a way that Falcons players, fans, and spectators alike will NEVER forget.
There are no such things as moral victories in my opinion, however, the Atlanta Falcons showed that they can hang with ANY team in this league. Their offense when in rhythm, is clearly unstoppable, and their defense is slowly improving give or take a few areas. If the Falcons can brush off this loss I see them being very difficult to beat in the future. Phillip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers are next on the schedule at the Georgia Dome this Sunday and their passing attack is potent. Atlanta definitely can’t afford to sleep on a team with their potential and expect a win to fall into their lap. Until then, rest up Dirty Birds, set your sights on those bolts, and come back this Sunday with a redemption mindset. RISE UP!