News & Analysis

NFL Week 8 PFF ReFocused: Seattle Seahawks 27, Atlanta Falcons 20

Russell Wilson bounced back from a disappointing Week 7 outing to lead his team to a 27-20 victory over the Matt Ryan-less Atlanta Falcons in Week 8.

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Final Score

Seattle Seahawks 27, Atlanta Falcons 20

Seattle Seahawks

After his forgettable effort against the Ravens last week, this was a nice bounceback performance from Russell Wilson. The Seahawks signal-caller was assured throughout, and while we have seen his downfield accuracy be more on point, he was too much for the Falcons' defensive backs even when they had decent coverage.

It was a strong rushing performance from Chris Carson, enough so that it masked a performance upfront that could best be described as a concern. The Falcons' defensive linemen regularly got off blocks, but Carson's ability to either make them miss or redirect the point of attack kept the chains moving for big gains when the Atlanta defense was in a good position.

It was a busy day for Jadeveon Clowney, who made some really good plays, especially in the run game. But there were also some really bad plays, especially with his discipline. On some plays, Clowney looks near unstoppable with his blend of speed and power, but these plays continue to be too few and far between for a defender wanted to be viewed as one of the best in the league.

Upfront, it was a nice day for nose tackle Al Woods. The veteran defensive lineman was regularly matched up with Alex Mack, and he caused the Pro Bowl center more than his fair share of problems. In his 10th year and second swing with the Seahawks, Woods continues to prove a solid hand in a league that often discards players of his ilk.

Atlanta Falcons

With Matt Ryan down, it was a case of next Matt up, and Matt Schaub dropped the clipboard to throw for over 400 yards. The numbers ended up impressive enough for his fantasy owners, but the scoreline got out of hand in large part because Schaub made a bad read on an RPO, throwing a pick that seemed to take the Falcons one-and-a-half quarters to snap out of. It ended up being one of the Atlanta offensive line's better performances of the season, and his big three receiving weapons won a lot of their matchups, so he'll no doubt go home wondering what if.

It wasn't spectacular, but rookie first-round pick Kaleb McGary is becoming less and less noticeable on the offensive line. This was arguably his most assured pass blocking display of the season, and it's good to see since his mauling at the hands of J.J. Watt in Week 5 that he's not wilted under the increased scrutiny. In what is turning into a lost season for Atlanta, his development for the future is likely to be a key aspect of focus.

The Falcons' defense is turning into something of a one-man show, and that man is Grady Jarrett. He was again the star for this unit, making a splash early and regularly using his quickness to get into the backfield to blow up intended points of attack in the running game. The problem for Atlanta remains that they need additional sources of pressure and disruption, and out on the edge, they continue to fail to get it.

It was a rough day in the secondary, highlighted by the bust that saw D.K. Metcalf all alone for his score late in the second quarter. One player who did step up was Isaiah Oliver, with the second-year pro trying to put a disappointing start to the year behind him by making some impressive plays in coverage. It wasn't perfect but the need for Atlanta is less about perfection now, and more about seeing what they have to work with.

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