Richard Sherman melted down, but the Seahawks rallied for a win over the Falcons, and the national media had plenty to say about it all.
Well, it wasn’t dull.
The Seahawks emerged with a 26-24 victory over the Falcons on Sunday at CenturyLink Field that went from fairly dominant to a complete unraveling (with Richard Sherman in the middle of it) to a stirring rally.
Seattle insists the fallout from the Sherman meltdown will be minimal, though it made for quite the in-game talking point. There were some injury concerns as well, and Russell Wilson appeared steady and dangerous in leading his team back in the fourth quarter.
As usual, the national media had no shortage of thoughts on the whole thing. Below is a sampling:
Peter King of Monday Morning Quarterback zeroed in on the Sherman incident:
“You all saw it: Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, after a lapse in coverage allowed Atlanta to score on a long touchdown pass, had to be separated from safety Kam Chancellor on the sideline. A few minutes later, a group of 10 or so teammates hopped up and down around Sherman, as if to say, Forget it. We’re a family. It’s all good. And the Seahawks, after blowing a 17-3 lead and falling behind 24-17, roared back to win 26-24—helped by a call that wasn’t made on Sherman, who appeared to interfere with Julio Jones on the Falcons’ last offensive play. ‘The best way I can describe it,’ said Earl Thomas after the game, over the phone from Seattle, ‘is we stayed strong. We survived. So much adversity. When you’re dealing with us, you’re dealing with a whole lot of alpha males. We understand Sherm. He’s a guy that’s passionate about football.'”
ESPN.com’s Sheil Kapadia talked about how much Sherman’s meltdown lingered in the second half:
“The truth is winning solves a lot of problems and masks a lot of issues. After their 26-24 win, the Seahawks are 4-1 and in good shape in the NFC West. They shut down the Falcons’ top-ranked offense in the first half but faltered in the third quarter, as Ryan completed 13 of 17 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns. Had the Seahawks lost, there’d be a lot more attention paid to Sherman’s outburst. Now the team will try to prove it was an isolated incident.”
Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated said the Falcons showed something despite the Seahawks’ victory:
“The Falcons shouldn’t mourn the missed opportunity for long. The way they solved Seattle’s defense out of halftime said as much or more about this offense than even last week’s win over Denver did. Outcome be damned, Atlanta cemented itself as an NFC title contender. If Seattle’s late heroics (and/or luck, depending on which side you’re on) are what it takes to snuff out Ryan’s offense, there won’t be a lot of teams able to repeat the feat.”
NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling discussed Atlanta’s final play for one of his five takeaways from the game:
“The interception was the first target that Jones didn’t corral all game en route to 139 yards and a touchdown. The second unsuccessful target came on the Falcons‘ final play of the game when Richard Sherman got away with an obvious pass interference, grabbing Jones’ arm and preventing him from catching a fourth-down heave from Matt Ryan. It’s not unusual for officials to swallow the whistle on a game-ending jumpball, but that won’t mollify an irate Dan Quinn — nor should it.”
Michael Silver of NFL Network had high praise for Wilson:
“On a rainy day in the Pacific Northwest, a man threw for 220 yards and three touchdowns in a single quarter — and was not the best quarterback on the field. The Falcons‘ Matt Ryan (27 of 42, 335 yards, three touchdowns, one interception) may be leading the NFL in passing yards (2075) and passer rating (117.9), but Wilson is the master of his domain, and is well on his way to becoming the No. 1 performer at the sports world’s most demanding position. Yeah, I said it. Tom Brady is 39. Drew Brees is 37. Ben Roethlisberger is 34. Aaron Rodgers is 32. You can argue the merits of Ryan (31) or Philip Rivers (34) or reigning MVP Cam Newton (27) or Andrew Luck (27), the man selected first overall in the 2012 draft, 74 picks ahead of Wilson (who was supposed to be too short to thrive at the NFL level), and I won’t be mad at you.”
USA Today had an opinion on the Falcons’ fourth-down pass at the end of the game in its weekly “40 things we learned” feature:
“Well, sure, the
Frank Schwab of Yahoo Sports’ Shutdown Corner blog had Sherman and the Seahawks as one of his winners for Week 6:
“It was the kind of moment that would have broken the Internet had it come from Odell Beckham. But this is the Seahawks. ‘That was mild,’ Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin said of Sherman’s sideline rant, via Matt Calkins of the Seattle Times. Only in Seattle. This is how the Seahawks are. This is also how they succeed. They express themselves without fear of retribution. They have a lot of players who are confident, smart and seem to enjoy football. The Seahawks are unlike any other NFL team.”
The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter talked about how the Falcons could not close it out:
The Falcons could not close the deal. Holding precariously to a one-point lead, the Falcons had a costly turnover in the final minutes that set up Seattle’s game-winning field goal in a hard-fought, 26-24 loss before 69,071 boisterous fans at CenturyLink Field on Sunday. The Seahawks improved to 4-1, and the Falcons dropped to 4-2. ‘We’ll learn a lot from it,’ Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. ‘From having penalties and turnovers, that made it very difficult for us.’”
John Breech of CBSSports.com gave the Seahawks a B for their victory:
“Pete Carroll probably isn’t going to be happy with the fact that his special teams fell apart against the Falcons and that his team nearly blew a 17-3 lead at home, but he’ll probably completely forget about those things when he realizes that his defense held the league’s No. 1 offense to roughly 100 yards below their weekly average. If the Seahawks have proven one thing under Carroll, it’s that they’re basically unbeatable when they play the NFL’s top-rated offense.”