Returning from the bye, Seattle won its first matchup, holding on to defeat the Atlanta Falcons, 26-24, inside CenturyLink Field. To recap notable player performances, team milestones and (of course) how the game played out, we compiled 10 numbers from the Week 6 contest:
Seahawks running back Christine Michael recorded two rushing touchdowns in a game for the second time in his career, with the other contest being Week 3 against the 49ers when he posted a career-high 106 yards on the ground. Michael's longest run of the day was a 21-yard scamper in the first quarter, the second longest run of the season for him.
One of the biggest takeaways of Sunday's game was the pressure Seattle's defensive front brought to Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan's doorstep. The Seahawks registered three of their four sacks on the day in the first quarter alone courtesy of Cliff Avril (two) and rookie Jarran Reed, who registered the first takedown of his NFL career. (Here's what those sacks mean for Avril.)
Each week, tight end Jimmy Graham continues to put his patellar tendon injury in the rear view mirror. Playing 63 of 66 offensive snaps, Graham caught six passes from quarterback Russell Wilson for the third game in a row. He's been targeted by him 26 times in those contests and is averaging 100.6 yards receiving.
Remember that defensive pressure we mentioned? Get a load of this: the Seahawks hit Ryan a whopping 13 times on Sunday (note: that number includes their four sacks), with defensive end Michael Bennett doing so a team-high five times. The 13 quarterback hits the Seahawks delivered marked a season-high, surpassing their previous total of nine, which was set against the Jets in Week 4 and in Week 1 against the Dolphins. This was the largest figure of quarterback hits the Seahawks recorded in a game since they had 13 last season in Week 10 vs the Cardinals.
Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright logged six or more tackles for the 14th consecutive game on Sunday. He had seven against the Falcons.
One of Avril's two sacks yesterday caused Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan to fumble the ball in Atlanta terrritory. That resulted in Michael scoring his first touchdown on the next down. The play from Avril marked the 24th time he's recorded a sack/fumble since 2008, which is the most by a player in the NFL.
The Seahawks once again showed why they're the best defense in the league on third down, forcing Atlanta's high-flying offense to go 3-of-11 (27 percent) on those opportunities yesterday. Seattle has held its opponent in the 20-percentile in terms of third-down efficiency in four of their five games this season.
While Wilson had his 100-plus quarterback rating streak snapped quickly after two games, we're pretty sure he'll gladly take his 50th win in the regular season, instead. The fifth-year pro now has a 50-19 record in 69 career contests, and since becoming a Day 1 starter his rookie season (which includes him starting every game), Wilson is the fastest player in NFL history to reach 50 wins.
In arguably their biggest test of the young season, the Seahawks run defense completely shut down Atlanta's one-two punch of explosive running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. The duo —one that entered Sunday with 1,000 total yards from scrimmage combined through five games —only gained 50 yards on the ground total (40 via Freeman, 10 via Coleman and two via Ryan). The 52 net yards rushing the Falcons accumulated is a new season-low for a Seahawks opponent. Even in the receiving game, the Seahawks held Freeman to only three catches for 10 yards, and Coleman to just one catch for seven. They contained them in both facets.
What might be more impressive than Earl Thomas' stellar performance against Atlanta? Thomas is now No. 1 in Seahawks history in consecutive regular season games started for a defensive player with 101, surpassing Hall-of-Fame defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, whom Thomas was tied with entering Sunday. Thomas has started all 113 games (postseason included) in his career. What's incredible about Thomas' durability is the fact he's continued this streak while playing one of the most high-contact positions in the game — at an elite level, I might add.
Here are some 12s supporting the Seahawks during Week 6 vs the Falcons at CenturyLink Field.