Three things we learned after the Seattle Seahawks ‘ 27-23 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday afternoon at Lumen Field.

Pass defense woes

The Seahawks’ pass defense was about as bad as could be early in the game, as Atlanta quarterback Marcus Mariota carved up the secondary in the first half with eight completions for 183 yards, for an average of 13.1 yards per attempt. 

Atlanta’s four-man receiving corps of Kyle Pitts, Olamide Zaccheaus, Drake London and Anthony Firkser averaged nearly 23 yards per reception, with all four catching a pass of at least 22 yards. 

Before Sunday’s game, the Seahawks had allowed opposing teams to complete 66.7% of their passes. Opposing offenses had also averaged 7.8 yards per passing attempt against the Seahawks over the first two weeks, the fourth-worst mark in the NFL. 

Atlanta’s receivers finished the game with 229 yards on 13 completions, with an average reception of 17.6 yards. 

Mariota finished the day with 13 completions (on 20 attempts), 11.5 average yards per attempt, and one passing touchdown. 

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Costly play call

The Seahawks elected not to go for it on fourth-and-2 from the Atlanta 7-yard line at the 3:15 mark of the third quarter. Had they gone for it and converted, a touchdown seemed feasible. Instead of potentially taking a 27-20 lead, the Seahawks let kicker Jason Myers kick a 25-yard field goal for a 23-20 lead. 

Atlanta went 75 yards on five plays on its next drive for a touchdown, with Mariota and Drake London hooking up for a 14-yard touchdown pass. 

Instead of tying the game up at 27-27, the touchdown gave Atlanta a 27-23 lead, which wound up being the final score.

Home-field advantage?

In front of 68,773 home fans Sunday, the Seahawks lost to a Falcons team projected by many to be among the worst teams in the NFL. The Seahawks’ legendary home-field advantage seems to be on life support.

Last season, the Seahawks finished 3-5 at home, with losses to the Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears. The team was 7-1 at home in the COVID-19 impacted 2020 season where no fans were allowed in the building, but were 4-4 at Lumen Field in 2019. 

With low expectations for the Seahawks around the league, and an inexperienced squad that ranks near the bottom in total defense and rushing yardage, it appears that while the fans bring the noise, they can’t boost this year’s Seahawks team to wins if the players on the field can’t perform.