Week 2 Game Recap: Atlanta Falcons 18, Seattle Seahawks 21
What you need to know
QB Michael Vick left the game for several plays late in the fourth quarter with what the team called a hamstring cramp. However, he is set to undergo an MRI Monday and additional tests to see if there is more to it. Backup Matt Schaub entered the game and helped the Falcons pull to within three points. Seattle rolled their safeties up to the line of scrimmage throughout the game daring Vick to try and beat them deep. Vick had his chances in the game, but missed an open Michael Jenkins twice deep.
RB TJ Duckett was brought into the game in short yardage situations for the second week in a row. This included Duckett entering the game for a one yard touchdown plunge in the fourth quarter. Both Duckett and RB Warrick Dunn found little room to run. The Seattle defense stacked the line of scrimmage and dared QB Michael Vick to try and beat them deep.
TE Alge Crumpler was invisible in the first half (zero targets in the first half), but emerged in the third quarter and was used more heavily as the Falcons started to move the ball with more success.
QB Matt Hasselbeck was very sharp and efficient executing the west coast offense in the first half. Hasselbeck directed touchdown drives of 75, 68, and 80 yards during the second quarter. The Falcons werenít able to muster anything close to the pass rush that Seattle experienced last week against the Jaguars. Hasselbeck was often given unusual and unexpected amounts of time to stand in the pocket and survey the field.
RB Shaun Alexander was given 30 touches (28 carries and two receptions) while playing a big part in Seattle controlling the clock and keeping the ball away from QB Michael Vick. Alexander ran hard with good shoulder lean in short yardage situations. He was afforded with several monster holes thanks to LT Walter Jones who completely dominated DE Patrick Kearney (zero tackles, two assists).
The Seattle receiving corps has done a much better job of avoiding drops through the first two games this season. WR Bobby Engram has cemented his job as the starter opposite Darrell Jackson while WR Joe Jurevicius has emerged as the number three receiver. Newly acquired WR Peter Warrick has not seen the field for an offense play yet. He has only returned punts.
The Seattle defense has yet to intercept a pass or recover a fumble so far this season, but they made plays and held on late in this game when the Seattle offense ground to a halt. After blowing fourth quarter leads four times last season this was a major event in preventing yet another meltdown.
What you ought to know
|QB Michael Vick, Pass: 11 - 19 - 123 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 8 - 43 - 0|
Michael Vick completed his first two passing attempts to start the game, but followed that up by only accounting for two more passing yards in the entire first half. Vickís only attempt in the second quarter was slightly overthrown, as WR Michael Jenkins got open deep behind the defense. Vick missed Jenkins again in the third quarter on a similar play. He nearly made a disastrous play in the first quarter while in the grasp of a pass rusher by his ankles. Vick spun and tried to flick a pass into a crowd. Luckily the ball fell incomplete. Vick began to lean on Crumpler and Finneran to move the sticks as the Falconsí offense started to move the ball with more success. During the drive that pulled the Falcons to within three points in the fourth quarter Vick scrambled out of the pocket for a thirty-two yard gain. Just as he was stepping out of bounds (untouched) Vick pulled up and reached down to grab his hamstring. He stayed in the game for a play, but was quickly replaced by backup Matt Schaub. Vick returned for a few plays, but returned to the sideline after scrambling around under a heavy rush and slipping on the turf before being sacked. The team said after the game that Vick had a cramp in his hamstring. However, the team said Monday that he will undergo an MRI and other tests to see if there is more to this.
Schaub entered the game late when Michael Vick left with hamstring cramps. Schaub didnít complete a pass, but lofted a nice ball into the end zone that allowed WR Brian Finneran to draw a pass interference penalty. Schaubís only other attempt was on fourth and fourteen to end the game.
Dunnís first six carries in the game all went for three yards or less. Seattle stacked the line of scrimmage by bringing their safeties forward to help in run support. Dunn was very limited in the first half mostly because Atlanta simply didnít have the ball. They only ran twenty-two plays before half time. However, Dunn did get touches on nine of those plays. After Seattle rolled up the twenty-one point lead Dunn was limited in his opportunities as Vick went to the air more often.
Duckett only had four carries in the game. His first was on Atlantaís last series before halftime. Duckett took a first down carry straight up the gut and plowed his way for a nice nine yard gain, but followed that up by being stuffed on second and short. His third carry came on second and ten during the third quarter for another solid eight yard pickup straight ahead. His last carry was a one yard touchdown that followed a pass interference call in the end zone setting up a first and goal at the one. Duckett has entered the game specifically for short yardage purposes in both the first and second week of the season.
Finneran not only caught a short five yard touchdown pass, he was also targeted with a lob from QB Matt Schaub late in the game. Finneran was able to draw a pass interference penalty setting up RB TJ Duckettís one yard touchdown run. Five of Finneranís targets came late in the game when the Falcon offense started to click.
Dez White was targeted on the first offensive play of the game starting opposite second year receiver Jenkins. Whiteís eleven yard reception was his only action of the game.
Jenkinsí lone reception came on the third Falcon play from scrimmage. Jenkins got open deep using a double move twice during the game. However, both times QB Michael Vick overthrew him down the sideline.
Roddy White was non-existent until the very end of the game. With third and eight to go White was flagged for a false start at the two minute warning. White was then targeted on fourth and thirteen for the last Falcon play of the game. He had virtually no chance to make a play on the prayer from QB Matt Schaub.
Crumpler wasnít targeted with a pass during the first half, but QB Michael Vick learned on him during the third quarter as the Falcons scratched their way back into the game. Crumpler was targeted in the end zone just before WR Brian Finneranís five yard touchdown. He made several big catches during the third quarter including a nice thirty yard hookup that went for fifteen more yards after a facemask penalty was tacked onto the play.
Peterson hit his only field goal attempt from thirty-one yards. On a negative note Peterson missed out on an extra point attempt when the Falcons opted to go for two following their last touchdown.
The Falcons werenít able to contain RB Shaun Alexander. Alexander punished the Falcons straight up the gut for several long gains. However, the most damage was done behind Seattleís pro-bowl left side of their offensive line. LT Walter Jones dominated DE Patrick Kearney at the point of attack on multiple runs. Student body left was a big gainer for the Seahawks. Alexander had eight runs of at least ten yards in the game. However, the Falcons did put together a string of three series which did get the Seattle offense off the field quickly and gave the Falcon offense some momentum. Second year linebacker Demorrio Williams seemed to be everywhere making plays. His ten tackles and two assists were tops for the Falcons in the game.
The Falcons sacked QB Matt Hasselbeck twice in the game, but didnít bring enough pressure consistently to disrupt the Seattle passing game. Many times Hasselbeck had an inordinate amount of time to stand and survey the field. CB DeAngelo Hall is gaining a reputation as a shutdown corner, but for the second week in a row he was matched up with a receiver that easily cleared one hundred yards.
Matt Hasselbeck was on fire during the first half. He went to the locker room after completing thirteen of sixteen passing attempts for 192 yards and two touchdowns. However, Hasselbeck missed on his first six attempts in the third quarter as the Seattle offense ground to a halt. It got slightly better in the fourth quarter when he lead the Seahawks on a nine play 82 yard drive from their own nine yard line, but it ended with three consecutive penalties and a Bobby Engram fumble. Seattle was definitely hanging their heads with memories of several blown leads in the back of their minds from the past few years. Hasselbeck gave them a lift when they needed it.
Shaun Alexander churned out the rushing yardage in big chunks. Mostly the yards came from up the gut and off left tackle. The Seattle offensive line did a nice job of opening large holes. It was sort of an all or nothing series of carries from Alexander. His long carries went for 11, 16, 14, 17, 14, 13, 12, and 10 yards. He also had ten of his carries go for two yards or less. Both of his receptions were not designed screen plays. Each was more of Hasselbeck checking down through his progression and using Alexander as an outlet. Alexanderís touchdown run came on a well executed draw play. He was able to waltz into the end zone untouched.
Morris spelled Alexander twice during the game. He had one carry on each series. He showed good explosion through the hole on his first carry busting through for a first down. Morris was caught in the backfield on his second carry.
Jackson was matched up on CB DeAngelo Hall for the bulk of the game. Jackson was able to beat him twice for long gains. He also did a nice job of getting off the line of scrimmage quickly allowing QB Matt Hasselbeck to get the ball out quickly on slants patterns. Jackson suffered his first drop of the season on a crucial third down that would have kept a drive alive.
Engram came flying out of the gate with three quick catches for fifty-four yards. He was a consistent mark for Hasselbeck with at least two targets in each quarter. Engram continues to display the soft hands that made him a long time third down favorite of Hasselbeck, but he nearly cost Seattle in this one with a costly fourth quarter fumble. On third and long Engram caught a quick slant on that would have put Seattle in field goal range, but CB Jason Webster stripped the ball setting up another Falcon score.
Jurevicius is settling in to the third receiver role well as a Seahawk after scoring his second touchdown in as many weeks. Jurevicius is also being used on some longer routes as well. He set up SS Bryan Scott with a great double move, and drew a pass interference call on Scott as he was about to blow by him for what could have been a huge gain. Scott had no choice but to grab hold of Jurevicius to prevent the big play.
Stevens is starting to deliver on the promise of big plays that Seattle was banking on when they selected him in the first round a few years ago. Stevens made a spectacular leaping 35 yard touchdown grab when he used his speed to get behind the defense just before halftime. With TE Itula Mili still absent due to illness, Stevens is cementing himself as the starting tight end in the Seahawk offense.
Brown was three for three on extra points, but didnít get to attempt a field goal. Seattle did line up for what would have been a very long attempt, but the snap went directly to Brown. He pooch punted the ball inside the Atlanta twenty yard line.
The Seahawks set the tone early by shutting down RB Warrick Dunn on his first six carries. Dunn was able to break just a few runs into the secondary, but never got in a rhythm. DT Marcus Tubbs is having a major impact in the middle of the Seattle defensive line. Rookie LB Lofa Tatupu continues to start a middle linebacker, and showed drastic improvement this week making several solid tackles including his first sack. Also, the Seattle safeties played up near the line of scrimmage for the bulk of the game in run support.
The Seattle cornerbacks were left on islands for most of this game. They didnít show much respect for QB Michael Vickís ability to make plays with his arm downfield. The Seattle pass rush disciplined themselves to keep outside contain on Vick to prevent him from making plays on rollouts. DT Rocky Bernard continues to enter the game as a pass rush specialist on passing downs. Bernard registered his second sack in as many games in limited duty.