Falcons recover after blowing lead, win 30-28

Getty Images

The Hail Mary didn’t work out this time.

Julio Jones picked off Russell Wilson’s last-ditch effort as time expired in Atlanta and the Falcons advanced to the NFC Championship Game with a 30-28 win that extended our string of outstanding football games this weekend to three. The Falcons grabbed the lead with eight seconds to play on a 49-yard field goal by Matt Bryant, but had to survive the Hail Mary attempt because the ensuing kickoff caromed off the front line of the Seahawks kick return team and the visitors recovered near midfield. Wilson had plenty of magic on Sunday, but it ran out on the final play.

Wilson led the Seahawks back from 27-7 down entering the fourth quarter and was excellent in the second half after the Seahawks were shut out in the first 30 minutes. Wilson helped put the Seahawks in front by spinning away from Sean Weatherspoon and hitting Marshawn Lynch for 23 yards on third down with 44 seconds remaining to set up a Lynch touchdown that gave Seattle its first lead of the day. Wilson finished with 385 passing yards, 60 rushing yards, two passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown. The ride ends here, but we’ve got a lot of Wilson to come in the future.

Matt Ryan, who helped the Seahawks comeback with a terrible interception early in the fourth, hit Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez to move into position for Bryant’s field goal. Pete Carroll did the time-honored icing the kicker bit and it wound up biting him as Bryant missed on the first try before splitting the uprights with his second try. The Falcons did their best to extend the narrative that they just can’t win in January during most of the fourth quarter, but they were able to flip the script just before the final whistle.

Their work along the line of scrimmage on both sides deserves much credit for getting them there. Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers combined for 162 yards on the ground, the kind of balance that they’ll need to beat the 49ers, and they did a good job of keeping Lynch in check while also forcing a fumble in the first quarter. Ryan made two big throws when he had to do it, getting the never wins in the playoffs monkey off his back and getting Gonzalez the first playoff win of his career in the process.

Gonzalez and Ryan will look for number two next weekend in a game that we hope is just as entertaining as the three we’ve already seen this weekend.

91 responses to “Falcons recover after blowing lead, win 30-28

  1. Sneaky Pete…”Who called a time out? What the fudge are you guys doing out there? We got robbed!”

    Upon further review and watching the replay – it was YOU who called the time out Pete Caroll you SNIVELING SLIME BALL!

    LYING, CHEATING, STEALING their way to to the top of EVERYONE’s public enemy #1 list!

    But look on the bright side Seattle! It’s only 5 months til Rusell Wilson’s SOPHMORE SLUMP begins!

    Niners by a MILE in the NFCCG!

  2. Those three points Carroll chose to leave on the field might have helped. Oh well, glad Seattle is out.

  3. Pete Carroll calls a timeout and then reacts like he doesn’t know who called it.

    Thank God this team is out, I can’t stand to look at him anymore.

  4. After seeing an absolute beast of a hat-trick of playoff games so far this weekend, I just want to point out two negatives that are seriously making football extremely difficult to watch. First, when did we reach a point in our society that we are so willing to accept being absolutely inundated with advertising? We are watching anywhere from 35-47 minutes of advertising during a 3 hour broadcast of a 60 minute football game! It has gotten way out of hand, and I would love to see more people in the industry take a stand on this. It is simply outrageous. Most countries in Europe have legislation in place that allows their soccer fans to watch an entire match while only being interrupted by commercials before the game and at halftime. Football fans are some of the greatest in the world, and we deserve better than this.

    Side note: CBS and FOX are in dire need of some half-decent announcers. Joe Buck and Brian Billick were an absolute abomination today.

  5. Matt Ryan just did what John Fox didn’t trust Peyton Manning to do yesterday! He drove for the winning field goal with only 30 seconds to play in the game and only used 2 timeouts to do it. Meanwhile, Peyton was ordered to take a knee and wait for overtime.

  6. Another great playoff game!! Congrats to the Falcons (especially Tony Gonzalez) and much respect to the Seahawks! Woo-hoo, Julio!!

    Not to rub salt in a wound, but why on earth didn’t the Broncos at least try to play for the win as the Falcons did rather than taking the knee with 30 seconds and two timeouts left? Puzzling, puzzling.

  7. Ryan needs to play better next week, but what separates good QB’s from great QB’s is the ability to go from your own 30 to field goal range in 2 plays with 25 seconds left.

  8. Love seeing Carroll lose by trying to out-think the game with the attempt to ice the kicker.

    Keep the timeout in your pocket, and you are moving on to SF this week. I like the Hawks, but it’s so hard to like that condescending coach.

  9. And to those who are talking about Carroll being upset about the timeout, allow me to drop some knowledge for you:

    He is upset that Bryant kicked the FG long after the timeout was called. He did not want him to kick at all. As a Dolphins fan who has seen his team get burned by this moronic tactic, I hate calling timeouts at all. But let’s at least use facts to back up our posts here.

  10. That was single handily the worse defensive set of plays in game ever. You have the lead and 30 seconds left and you’re blitzing? GTFO here.

  11. Just because the announcers thought Carroll was complaining he didn’t call a time out doesn’t mean it’s true. Probably, he was complaining the kicker went ahead with the kick. Which he might not have missed if the play had continued and the other players blocked and rushed as normal. Still, I think it’s normally a bad idea to try icing the kicker and if this contributes to its demise, well then fine.

  12. What an embarrassment for the seagulls to lose to the chokingest quarterback in the league.

    Those 50 point big scores in the regular season did not show seagull strength. They showed seagull lack of class running up the score.

  13. 30 seconds remaining in the game and score is tied. Manning and Denver take a knee and the rest is history. They lose. Fast forward to this great game and Atlanta wins the game with the same time remaining while going for the win (because they had to). John Fox is looking like more of an idiot today.

  14. LMAO at y’all hating on the Seahawks lol….. Russell Wilson is better than RG3 for people hoping he has a Slump…. RG3 is going to be an epic failure next year with that shredded knee….

  15. Matty Ice didn’t do a damn thing and better be happy his 2 picks didn’t do more. So next week Go Niners. Unless the stadium comes down on both teams.

  16. Not a fan of either team but man am I glad it’s time for all those bandwagon, 4-months-a-year seahawk fans and their team go home and talk about how great their…..I guess, uniforms are? Congratulations on losing to a team that hasn’t won a playoff game in years. Looks like last week’s win amounted to nothing but a win vs. a “Joe Webb-like” ‘skins team with III on one leg. Now your rah rah, arrogant college coach can go back to thinking up a new way to jump around on the sideline during games next year. Nice try, Seattle. Now you have plenty of time to go hang out with Packer fans and talk about who caught a ball 5 months ago.

    Oh, and before you tell me the seahawks had the lead with less than a minute left in the game, I shall respond with, your world-beating, better than everyone, top two corners in history, best defense EVER, let Matt Ryan and a 75 year old TE drive the field on two throws to get a FG to win. Sweet defense, indeed.

  17. If only Pete Carroll would have settle for FGs in the first half instead of going for it on 4th and 1 and right before half time. Until next year, Seahawks. Go Niners!

  18. Mike Smith got overzealous and called a timeout with 13 seconds left, instead of waiting till the clock got to 2 or 3 seconds.

    It ended up alright but man, he should know better.

  19. Carroll wasn’t mad the timeout was called, he called it. He was made Bryant took a free shot to line it up long after the play was called dead and before the ball was snapped. He called the timeout before they lined up. Watch the replay, he flips out when Bryant kicks it.

  20. As a Falcons fan I’ll just say… Oh thank God! I was seriously about to get sick.

    Congrats to Seattle and Russell Wilson for a great game, but I must say I’m glad to see Pete Carroll lose. I hated that guy at USC and he’s just as bad now.

    I’m really happy for Tony Gonzales. That guy is 100% class and this meant so much to him. I think they’ll come out much looser next week and, hopefully, not let the 9’ers back into it in the 2nd half like they did this week.

  21. In the end, the 2 mainstays of the Seahawks, running game and the secondary, failed them.

    Wilson did his part and is easily the ROY.

  22. SEA gave this game away with so many sloppy mistakes. I have a diary log with lots of complaints about Pete Carroll today, and I only wrote down the top half of things that he did wrong today. This loss is purely on Carroll, he made mistake after mistake after mistake for a truly mind-boggling game of bizarre errors.

    Also looked like on the last play that the INT player might not have been touched by a defender and he promptly got up with a football move as soon as he possibly could and put what looked like a live ball into the endzone. If the SEA player goes after that and Carroll presses for a review, then that was their only shot at that point, and they didn’t have any care or inkling to fight for this win on that play and several other opportunities.

  23. Good game Falcons, sad my Hawks lost but I give credit where credit is due, way to not give up. Goodluck to you and yours as you move forward.

    Im very happy with how far my Hawks went, no one expected them to get this far. And they played hard after a bad start. We still love ya here in Washington, Russell!

  24. Unconfirmed reports from Atlanta media saying that Pete Carroll had experienced abdominal discomfort due to swallowing too many pieces of gum during the game. Seahawks’ team doctor escorted Carroll to the near by ER for emergency procedure.

  25. Caroll wasn’t complaining about the timeout. He was complaining because Bryant cheated and took an unfair practice kick, which he missed, adjusted, and made the next one. Change that crap, NFL. Should be a 5 yd. penalty but I guess sometimes cheaters do prosper. Last win of the year for the dirtybirds. Good thing is, it’s just enough to keep Smith and Ryan around my division and remain our whipping boys.

  26. I am not a fan of either team. The Falcons didn’t win this game. The Seahawks lost it. With 31 seconds left there is no way you give up two long pass completions to get in field goal range. The defensive coordinator screwed up. The Seahawks offered up a gift to the Falcons. The 49ers will not be so generous.

  27. Wilson…Kaepernick…RG3 all had good years but I’ll still take A. Luck as I foresee a much longer healthier career.

  28. I think the Niner’s D has a better shot at stopping ATL’s O than Atl’s D has at stopping the Niner’s O. Niner’s are going to push them around in the trenches.

  29. Nothing, and I truly mean nothing could have made me happier than than watching the cheathawks lose. Sweet justice for the other 31 teams in the NFL. I may take off work tomorrow just to celebrate their elimination from the playoffs. I havent been this happy since my last child was born. Wonder where loud-mouth kathy is. Oh this is grand.

  30. So glad Seattle is out. Would have been a perfect weekend if SF lost, but 2 out 3 ain’t bad. Now let’s see if Houston can send NE packing.

  31. Poor time management at the half and poor play calling in the redzone early cost Seattle the game. Bad coaching. Russell Wilson is the real deal. Anyone who says different doesn’t know football.

  32. Missed opportunities to put up a fg twice in first half was killer. If they ruled Lynch fumbled on the TD, and recovered by Unger, it would be down on the goal line with the clock ticking, leaving Atl with less time. Seattle with same defense that allowed Chicago to do the exact same thing earlier in the .
    An f u to Fed Ex field for also knocking Haushka out, he had a long shot at a long FG at the end.

    Heartbreaking to be that close.

  33. Pete Carroll “out-thunk” himself, not taking a field goal in the first half and then using a college trick of “reezin the kicker” at end of game. Seriously, does anyone remember the last time that a kicker missed after a timeout? I can surely remember several times when the kicker missed the first kick when a coach called a time out. I think it involves a better strategy as the kicker might have it in his mind on the first kick that the opposing coach is going to call time out to freeze him so his concentration on the first kick isn’t what it is on a second kick………..pete carroll is a college coach and always will be. his current players will wake up sometime next year that they are tired of being treated like college kids with the rah rah rah chit

  34. Congrats to the Falcons, but I just want to say this — Russell Wilson showed a ton of poise after being down 20-0 at the half. He literally put his team on his back and played lights out the entire 2nd half. His performance today is proof that is he the OROTY.

    He’s building a reputation of being a legend killer (Beat Brady, Rodgers, out-deuled star in the making Kaepernick, almost beat Ryan in his house) and has been clutch all year.

    This kid has the heart of a champion, and I hope that he doesn’t hang his head because of the loss.

  35. Cheatin’ Pete and the Seadderall Seahawks just got bounced. Sherman was getting burned all day but Matty Melt couldn’t deliver on some of the passes.

  36. Niners fans….don’t get too full of yourself. I’ve been to all of the Falcons home games and they always seem to find a way to win. Falcons/Niners will be a tough game for both sides.

  37. roseann894 says: Jan 13, 2013 4:34 PM

    Just because the announcers thought Carroll was complaining he didn’t call a time out doesn’t mean it’s true. Probably, he was complaining the kicker went ahead with the kick. Which he might not have missed if the play had continued and the other players blocked and rushed as normal. Still, I think it’s normally a bad idea to try icing the kicker and if this contributes to its demise, well then fine.
    Totally agree with this. I hate the whole icing the kicker thing anyway. (I think icing the kicker should be banned. It only slows the game down, and rarely works anyway.) Carroll might have called the timeout as Bryant was starting his kick, so he just finished it. Serves him right.

    Oh, yeah – I hope John Fox was watching this. This is what you do with 31 seconds and two timeouts – you at least try to put some points on the board. I couldn’t believe the Broncos just let the clock run out at the end of the half yesterday, with the score tied. Easily one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen in a football game.

  38. Next week Ryan vs. Kaepernick: Who looks like a bigger dork in a basbeall cap. Ryan goes slightly crooked with a bill that is 5x too large for the cap, or Kaepernick with the pristine “just off the rack at Lids, don’t you dare bend the bill” look.

  39. So long, Hawks. Sorry you couldn’t beat a QB with 2 good legs.

    Beat the traffic home Sherman. Take your loudmouth team, loudmouth coach, loudmouth fans with you.

    Congrats on your Wild Card win**, you can add it to your empty trophy case.

  40. All you Falcon haters posting here are the same ones saying ‘one and done’ and ‘2 points’ and ‘Matty Melt’ etc. You’re just a bunch of blowhards. We may not win Sunday…but we’ll show up and you won’t have a cake walk. Besides; you all lost to the team we just beat. Nothings easy. its the NFL.

  41. Gotta love the hindsight fans…
    4th and 1 (During the game)-“cmon, you have to go for it! It’s only a yard! If you can’t gain a yard, you don’t deserve to win!

    4th and 1 (After the game)- “I can’t believe they went for it. That was a terrible call. I would have never gone for it in that situation.”

  42. 13-3 wasn’t enough to be called good by all the sports writers and the fans of the other 31 NFL teams, no, you have to win a playoff game with this coach and quarterback. Well, the Falcons have met the standard you set and are officially, by your own definition, in the top class of NFL teams. Enjoy your crow (or Seahawk if you prefer). So the haters will have to find someone else to hate on. The Matty Ice Falcons have arrived and there is nothing you can do about it.

    That said, this is definitely one of the best football weekends ever. Wow! What a bunch of great games!

  43. The loss was not Russell Wilson`s fault.
    Where was that vaunted Seattle D on that last Atlanta drive?
    Plus a few dubious Pete Carroll coaching decisions, especially that stupid icing the kicker time out.
    Too bad.
    Would have loved to see a SF-Seattle rubber match.

  44. Wilson padded his stats after the Falcons went into prevent mode. That is obvious.

  45. Pete carrol is an idiot! You can clearly see him call a time out, then go and argue that no one called a time out after he noticed the miss. He’s a cheat and has his players buying in as well! Can’t stand carrol! NINERS all day baby !!!!!!

  46. As a lifelong chiefs fan I would like to congratulate tony gonzalez on his 1st playoff win. A lot of us chiefs fans are pulling for you man. Best tight end in nfl history. Shannon sharpe couldn’t hold tony g’s shoulder pads.

  47. Cheatin Pete! Your club came out lethargic for the first half… don’t they have pills for that?

  48. You guys and the TV announcers are so stupid…. I’m not even a SeaChickens fan but I could tell that Pete Carroll was not arguing about the timeout, but that Atlanta was allowed to get a free kick off. He called timeout to make the kicking unit (snapper, holder, kicker) guess if play was going to be stopped or not.

    Carroll called it with enough time to blow the play dead without a snap getting off. But the kicking unit went ahead more than a full second later with the snap AND kick. THAT’S why Carroll was arguing with the refs, to give the Falcons a delay of game for kicking a dead ball into the stands.

  49. I am officially pulling for Texans (but looks very doubtful and what a shame), Ravens then Falcons and then 9ers. Anyone but the Patriots, but they probably will win it all. They make it to the Superbowl I won’t even bother watching. I am not sure about other fans but I get sick of seeing the same teams—Steelers, Patriots, Packers, Giants, etc. I am personally glad Dallas can’t finish a season strong each year and have been mediocre for many years now.

    I just want other teams in the big dance. Funny the league talks about parity but yet its almost always the same each year.

  50. Congrats to the Falcons and Matt Ryan. You have earned much respect not just for winning your first playoff game but for the way you did it, you didn’t give up even with only 31 seconds in the game.

    If my Packers can’t win the Super Bowl I will be pulling for you. Mad respect for Tony Gonzalez. I would like to see him go out with a ring. Good luck next week!

  51. The Seahawks bumbling a change for six points on the board, and the dreaded bush league ‘icing the kicker’ that backfired, looks like Pete Carroll got out-coached.

  52. Great game Seattle. You have a bright future ahead.

    I am proud that Atlanta got them a win and hopefully that prevents the haters (and saints fan) from posting that tired phrase “only 2 points in the playoffs”

    Rise Up!

  53. Anyway you look at it Pete Carol cost your team the game. Bad calls throughout the game. Going for it on fourth and one when down by 13. Not getting a field goal before half . Calling timeout. He is a joke of a coach in the NFL

  54. Well the 2 passes at the end were not stellar by any means but the secondary did an ok job with Jones and White. If White doesn’t catch that 40+ yarder, he has like 35 receiving yards. Seattle stopped their pass better than most teams did this year. Ryan only had 250 passing yards. Wilson had 385. The running hurt Seattle (Clemson out). Lynch’s fumble hurt Seattle. They were cruising down the field when he put the ball on the ground. People hate Seattle for some reason….cause the officials make a stupid call one game?? Sherman talks crap but so do otheres players for other teams. Watt is a big smack talker. Kaepernick is good and had a great game but he stunk against Seattle. Short memories around here. Wilson played consistant football all year with a bunck of rookies. If they can keep this group together they are going to be really tough next year.

  55. Can’t say this changes anything about Atlanta’s perception.

    It’s up to them next week to prove everyone wrong…because everyone is expecting a blowout with Atlanta on the losing side

  56. Biggest disappointment is the Seahawks won ‘t get another shot at Niners. Falcons will do it for them!

  57. Yeah and all the thumbs down you click aren’t gonna keep Seattle from winning games next year……keep hating.

  58. Carroll took a timeout, then Bryant was able to get off a “practice kick.” Bryant missed it. Carroll was irate after the play because of a pregame conversation he had with officials, who warned him that kickers wouldn’t be able to take a practice kick, like Justin Tucker did between overtime periods in the Baltimore Ravens’ win Saturday.

    “The officials told us before the game that nobody’s going to get a chance to do that,” Carroll said. “I asked them pregame what if somebody does, and they didn’t know what the answer was, obviously. I had never heard that before, so I was just challenging it.”

  59. To the seahawks fan who said they were on the road to Glory. It only lasted 2 weeks, hope you enjoyed it

  60. And whats funny is the Redskins had 2 players suspended for PED’s and one was their cornerback, but I don’t hear people calling them cheaters.

  61. Atlantas coach almost blew it with the worlds first onside squib I don’t know what the hell you were thinking kick!!! Bad play call by Seattle probably because they were still complaining about the free kick. But Seattle still had a shot with a pass to the end one. Thanks Atalanta coaches for giving your fanbase a stroke!!!

  62. No don’t worry that wasn’t an earthquake coming out of the Pacific NW … Just the sound of all the Sea-hag posers jumping off the bandwagon.

    Couldn’t have happened to a better group of ‘fans’.

    GO NINERS!!!!!!

  63. Seahawks fan here. Big ups to the Falcons, epic game. Thought we had it at the end there. Congrats to Tony G, glad he got a playoff win. Best TE to ever play the game hands down. Really looking forward to the level of competition we’re set to see next season. Man what a game!

  64. I’m loving all the Seahawks haters. Just proof that the team is good.

    Proud of our team to fight back and take the lead after being 20 points down to the #1 seed on the road. Looking at our opponent schedule, we should have a great shot at getting the road through the playoffs to go through Centurylink.

    Keep hating Pete, Sherman and everyone else…this team just keeps getting better.

  65. Niners trolls should keep it shut would they really want to play Seattle again? Kap Can not run on Hawks never has. And that last game was an anomaly consider this is Kap going to break all time records every week? Noo don’t be too confident like Hawks fans were. Falcons came out and outplayed Seattle in the half and the our coach let us down with all the issues. Still want trade Pete for anyone!

    Good luck to both teams, not sure what to expect from these squads next week could be high scoring or a low score teams change their game plans all the time.

  66. Reblogged this on Taylor Blitz Times and commented:
    One of the best playoff games ever. Seattle showed their mettle coming from 20 points down on the road and with :31 left in the game held a 28-27 lead. Then Matt “Matty-Ice” Ryan showed his maturity driving the Falcons to the winning field goal. This was the culmination of the Falcons building plan and maturation of both Coach Smith and his quarterback. We wrote back in August that it was time for Atlanta to ascend to a Super Bowl by winning their first playoff game under the new regime. Now they have that first win under their belt, they will be relaxed going into the NFC Championship.

  67. This win by the Falcons shows that Matt Ryan can play clutch when needed, he also needs to take better care of the ball. Matt Ryan earned his nickname by being clutch in the final Falcon drive. The Falcons will need to play better against the 49iners, but the monkey is off the back, at least for now.

  68. The Seabirds gimmick offense finally sputtered and Sherman showed his a**, he’s a blowhard. Glad the better team won.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.