ATLANTA — Chris Carson relished being back home.
In attendance for Seahawks’ victory over the Falcons on Sunday were more than 50 family members, friends and former teammates of Carson’s from Parkview High School in Lilburn, Georgia, just 18 miles northeast of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Carson put on a show for them in the first half.
“Just seeing my family out there, hearing my name a lot in the stands, it was great,” the Seahawks running back said. “You don’t get to do this a lot, playing in front of your hometown, so I was grateful.”
Carson looked as good as ever in the first half, rushing for 86 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
The second half was much different for him — six carries for four yards — and for the entire team, which makes grading such a performance an uneven task after Seattle’s 27-20 victory.
Let’s give it a shot anyway:
Russell Wilson had a passer rating of 122.2 in the first half, having completed 9 of 15 passes (with two drops) for 110 yards with two touchdowns. Pretty good start, eh?
So to see him finish with just 20 total pass attempts — so five in the second half — was puzzling. But then, the entire second half was puzzling.
Wilson’s final numbers: 14 of 20 for 182 yards, two touchdowns, no turnovers and a 131.7 rating. On the season, he has 20 total touchdowns and one interception.
See Carson above. Rashaad Penny was rejuvenated in the first half, too, rushing eight times for 55 yards, with a long of 17. The Seahawks had 130 yards rushing by halftime … and finished with 151. Yeesh.
Now about those trade rumors. Would the Seahawks really consider moving Penny now? The assumption here is, no, probably not, but perhaps his strong showing Sunday could really be intriguing for a team desperate for a running back.
These ridiculous catches are starting to become routine for Tyler Lockett, who finished with six catches (on six targets) for 100 yards — including a one-handed over-the-shoulder grab in the first half that didn’t seem to get enough love initially.
“He just continues to be great. He’s an incredible player,” Pete Carroll said. “You can just keep lauding all of the things that he does so well, but so much of it is instinctive and feel and he’s just a marvelous football player.”
DK Metcalf dropped a moon ball from Wilson in the end zone in the first half but made up for it soon after with his second TD grab in the back of the end zone. Safe to say, at the season’s midpoint, he’s been just about everything the Seahawks hoped he could be as a rookie.
Jacob Hollister had two catches (on two targets) for 18 yards, but more importantly made the catch/recovery on the first of Atlanta’s two onside kicks.
The bigger question about the position now is how quickly can veteran Ed Dickson return from a knee injury. Or do the Seahawks need to make a move before Tuesday’s trade deadline?
The line is difficult to evaluate after it was rocked early by the loss of center Justin Britt to a knee injury on the game’s opening drive. Joey Hunt stepped in and played the rest of the way, and he’s the only healthy lineman on the roster who has any experience playing center, so it’ll be worth following, certainly, if the Seahawks will want to bring in reinforcements this week there.
Left tackle Duane Brown was back, and he said afterward he felt good. D.J. Fluker was back too. Those are positive steps.
The second half was a pretty rough one for the line, though.
Jadeveon Clowney had a strip sack to end the first half and another tackle for loss early in the second half. He had one of his best games in a Seahawks uniform.
The pass rush was still inconsistent, particularly in that second half, and Jarran Reed still hasn’t had his breakthrough game yet after returning from his six-game suspension last week.
What a day for Bobby Wagner. The middle linebacker set the franchise record for tackles, had a sack and recovered a key fumble at the Seattle 1-yard line in the fourth quarter. Not a bad Sunday.
Mychal Kendricks added his first interception of the season, K.J. Wright had 10 tackles and rookie Cody Barton played several series in the second half.
We’re grading on a curve a little bit here, considering Seattle was without starting right corner Tre Flowers (stinger) and, for most of the game, safety Bradley McDougald (back). McDougald was only supposed to be used in “an emergency,” Carroll said, and McDougald did have to come in when rookie Marquise Blair was a banged up in the second half.
But Blair had a game-high 11 tackles and made the play of the game when he forced a fourth-quarter fumble near the goal line, and Shaquill Griffin continues to look the part of a true No. 1 cornerback.
The best it’s been all season.
Jason Myers converted both of his field-goal attempts, with a season long of 54 yards in the fourth quarter. And Michael Dickson, after a slow start to the season, has been excellent of late, averaging 49.8 yards on his four punts Sunday.