SEATTLE – Seattle didn’t have Richard Sherman and didn’t have Kam Chancellor on Monday night.
And when they needed it most what they also didn’t have was one more yard or time out.
A hurried last-ditch series got the Seahawks to within a foot or so of pulling off a stunning comeback against the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night.
But Blair Walsh’s 52-yard field goal came up short with 2 seconds left allowing Atlanta to hold on 34-31 in a game where the Seahawks never led.
Seattle fell to 6-4 with what was its second straight home defeat in a game in which Atlanta took an early 21-7 lead and then made just enough plays down the stretch to hold on.
Seattle got the ball back at its own 30 with 1:46 left and no timeouts and moved just close enough to give Walsh – who set an NFL record when he was with Minnesota and made 12 straight kicks of 50 yards or longer – a shot.
But his kick, which was right on target, was just short.
Atlanta led 24-17 at the end of an action-packed first half that featured just one punt – that by the Falcons.
Atlanta used a long kickoff return to set up a 50-yard touchdown drive on its first possession, then turned two turnovers into two more quick touchdowns to take a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter.
Both of the turnovers were by Russell Wilson – a pass thrown wide of Tyler Lockett that Desmond Trufant picked off and returned 40 yards; and a fumble when he was sacked by Takkarist McKinley that Adrian Clayborn picked up and returned 11 yards for a touchdown.
But the Seahawks quickly clawed back.
A 49-yard drive set up a 30-yard field goal by Walsh to cut the score to 21-10.
Walsh then booted the ensuing kickoff short and Atlanta’s Andre Roberts couldn’t control it with Seattle rookie Tedric Thompson recovering it at the 11.
It took Seattle seven play to score from there, four from the 1-yard line. But the Seahawks finally got the touchdown on a 1-yard run by Wilson to make it 21-17 with 5:21 left in the half.
Atlanta responded with a drive for a field goal with 1:06 remaining in the half.
But another strong kickoff return by Lockett set up Seattle in good field position and two Wilson scrambles of 15 and 14 yards got the Seahawks close enough to set up for a 35-yard field goal with seven seconds left in the half.
Seattle, though, instead tried to catch Atlanta sleeping with a fake with holder Jon Ryan flipping the ball to a crossing Luke Willson.
But Atlanta’s Grady Jarrett threw Willson down for a 4-yard loss to end the half with the Falcons ahead 24-17.
On the next series Seattle was stopped when Doug Baldwin couldn’t control a third-down pass. Coach Pete Carroll challenged the ruling but it was confirmed and Seattle had to punt, costing the Seahawks a timeout.
On Atlanta’s next possession, Ryan hit Jones for a 29-yard completion on third-and-six to take it to the Seattle 29.
The play typified a night when the Seattle defense didn’t give up a ton of yards but had trouble making the key stops as Atlanta converted 9 of 14 on third down.
A 19-yard field goal by Matt Bryant put Atlanta ahead 34-23 with 3:49 left.
But just when that seemed like it might end the game Wilson quickly drove Seattle into the end zone.
A 16-yard run on the first play got Seattle moving. Then on second down from the Atlanta 29 the Falcons jumped offsides and knowing he had a free play Wilson fired to a wide open Baldwin for the touchdown.
Wilson then hit Jimmy Graham for a two-pointer to make it 34-31 with three minutes left.
Atlanta played for the onsides kick but Seattle instead pooched it over the line and Roberts had to run back to field it and was tackled at the 15 by D.J. Alexander.
Facing a third-and-three at its own 22 at the two-minute warning Atlanta decided to throw. Ryan was then sacked by Sheldon Richardson, who beat Atlanta guard Wes Schweitzer.
Atlanta had to punt from its own 17.
Seattle took over at its own 30 with 1:46 left.
A short pass to J.D. McKissic took the ball to the Atlanta 42. The clock was running but stopped when Falcon Brian Poole had to be helped off with an injury
A pass to Paul Richardson then took it to the 35 and Seattle spiked it with seven seconds left.
After originally appearing to go for it Seattle decided to try the field goal.
Seattle is 23-9 all-time in Monday night play and the Seahawks had an 11-game winning streak on Monday snapped. The Seahawks are 53-29-1 all-time in prime time and 7-1 on MNF under Carroll.
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