Wed, Nov 22, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Falcons hold off Seahawks 34-31


Robert Alford of the Atlanta Falcons, right, breaks up a pass intended for Paul Richardson of the Seattle Seahawks in their NFL game in Seattle on Monday.

Photo: Steven Bisig-USA Today

Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons did enough through three-and-a-half quarters that even the best comeback attempt by Russell Wilson fell short this time.

A couple of yards short to be exact.

Ryan on Monday threw a pair of touchdown passes and Adrian Clayborn returned a fumble 10 yards for a score before the Falcons watched Blair Walsh’s 52-yard field-goal attempt in the final seconds fall short, holding off the Seattle Seahawks for a 34-31 win.

Atlanta won their second straight to stay on the heels of New Orleans and Carolina in the National Football Conference South and handed Seattle a second consecutive home loss.

“What an absolute team win from the guys tonight,” Atlanta coach Dan Quinn said. “Coming here, in this environment, with the crowd, we thought it would be two competitive, tough teams that were going to battle for it in the biggest way.”

Ryan threw touchdowns to Mohamed Sanu and Levine Toilolo, while Tevin Coleman added a one-yard touchdown run on Atlanta’s opening possession, but it was Clayborn’s fumble return that helped break the game open early in the second quarter and gave Atlanta a 21-7 lead.

He scooped up a loose ball after Wilson was crunched by Takk McKinley and Courtney Upshaw.

“I think we’re moving in the right direction. We keep proving we can finish games and beat guys. We have to take the momentum and keep rolling with it,” Clayborn said.

With Seattle down 11 points, Wilson hit Doug Baldwin on a 29-yard touchdown with 3 minutes left and then threw to Jimmy Graham for the two-point conversion.

Seattle got the ball back and moved in range for Walsh, whose attempt was on line, but landed short of the crossbar.

“That was in our range and in hindsight I would have just driven it more,” Walsh said. “I would have driven it more and not left it short. I was too accurate and didn’t have enough on it.”

Wilson again was the entirety of Seattle’s offense, throwing for 258 yards and two touchdowns, while running for another 86 yards and a touchdown, but it was an awful night for the Seahawks, filled with more injuries and questionable decisions by coach Pete Carroll.

Seattle played a game without Richard Sherman for the first time since the end of 2010. His streak of 99 consecutive starts was snapped because of a torn Achilles tendon.”

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