It wasn’t until after the game had ended that Cliff Avril realized that his big performance in a win over the Falcons also meant good news for Haiti.
Avril, who during the offseason went to Haiti and helped rebuild a school, pledged earlier in the week to fund a new house in Haiti for every sack he records this season. Then in Sunday’s win over the Falcons, he backed that pledge up with a two-sack performance in Seattle’s 26-24 victory over Atlanta.
“The more the better, man,” Avril said. “I didn’t think about that until after the game when somebody pointed that out. I’m just grateful to be able to help out. I’m fortunate to be in a situation to be able to do that, so it’s pretty cool.”
Avril, whose parents were both born and raised in Haiti, is also teaming with Mission of Hope to aid the recovery effort in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew, and anyone wishing to donate can do so here.
Avril’s first sack Sunday was a particularly big play, as he knocked the ball out of the right hand of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Defensive tackle Tony McDaniel recovered on the 9-yard line, and Christine Michael scored on the next play to give the Seahawks an early lead.
“When you can get a strip sack, especially in the part of the field where I got it at, that’s clutch,” Avril said. “I was fortunate enough to get it, and hopefully we can get some more.”
And Avril was far from alone in being a disruptive pass-rusher on Sunday. The Seahawks sacked Ryan four times and hit him 13, including five quarterback hits by Michael Bennett before the defensive end left the game early with a knee injury. In addition to Avril’s two sacks, rookie Jarran Reed added his first career sack and Cassius Marsh had a big third-down sack in the fourth quarter to force an Atlanta punt after the Falcons had scored on their three previous possessions.
“I think we got to (Ryan) a lot,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “He was tough and hung in there and all that and came back, just like the great pro that he is, but the pass rush was really on fire.”
Game action photos from the Seahawks' 26-24 win vs Falcons at CenturyLink Field.