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Seahawks escape with a win after Falcons' desperate heave falls short

The Falcons fought back from a two-score deficit in the first half, but couldn’t pull off the win.

Atlanta Falcons v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

It isn’t easy to beat the Seahawks in the unfriendly confines of CenturyLink Field in Seattle, and it’s a lesson the Atlanta Falcons learned the hard way on Sunday, losing 26-24.

The Falcons looked outmatched in the first half, and Matt Ryan was harassed by the Seahawks’ defense consistently. Seattle landed three sacks on Ryan in the first half alone, and the Seahawks outscored the Falcons 17-3, taking a two-score lead into the half.

In the second half, the Falcons surged back, adding seven points on a wide open Julio Jones touchdown against blown Seahawks coverage that made Richard Sherman very angry.

Another touchdown, this one on a 46-yard pass to tight end Levine Toilolo, tied the game 17-17, and the Falcons took a 24-17 lead with a Mohamed Sanu touchdown.

It seemed like everything was going the Falcons’ way. The Seahawks got into field goal position, but the Steven Haushcka attempt went wide. Seattle managed to get into the end zone, but Hauschka’s PAT was blocked, preserving the Falcons’ 24-23 lead.

Earl Thomas managed to swing the momentum in the Seahawks’ favor with an interception of a Ryan pass intended for Julio Jones. Seattle’s offense was able to get into field goal range, and Haushcka’s attempt was good, giving the Seahawks a two-point lead.

Matt Ryan has executed 32 game-winning drives in his career, and he had an opportunity to add one more with just under two minutes to play. With Sherman in coverage against Jones, a controversial no-call on defensive pass interference on fourth down returned possession to the Seahawks, and Seattle preserved the win.