Sunday’s 26-24 Seahawks win over the Atlanta Falcons carried a series of firsts for Seattle's 2016 rookie class.
Defensive tackle Jarran Reed, the team's second-round pick out of Alabama, recorded his first NFL sack, bringing down Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in the game's first quarter.
Tight end Nick Vannett was active for the first time this year after missing the first four regular-season games with an ankle injury, as the third-round pick out of Ohio State saw three snaps on offense and two more on special teams.
Backup center Joey Hunt saw his first big-League snap come at an unfamiliar position, as the sixth-round pick out of TCU lined up at fullback to lead-block for a fourth-quarter touchdown from running back Christine Michael.
And running back Alex Collins, a fifth-round pick out of Arkansas, made his first trip to the end zone, as he made a Falcons defender miss in the backfield and hit pay dirt from two yards out to extend Seattle's lead to 14-3 in the second quarter.
“Just read and react," Collins said of his scoring play. "I got the ball coming down hill, I had a defensive lineman in my face and I just made a move to the best of my ability to get out of the way and try to score a touchdown.”
Speaking to reporters after the game, Collins had his touchdown ball tucked away in the corner of his locker at CenturyLink Field.
“Oh yeah, it’s right there, I already got it,” Collins said of the ball used on his initial NFL score, which came his way as a result of Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson tracking it down from a ball boy. "Such a great guy," Collins added of Wilson.
"That was really fun," Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said of Collins' first-half touchdown. "That was really fun to see that happen. Alex came through beautifully. He had a nice touchdown, he made a guy miss."
And while Collins' final stat line of one carry for two yards and one reception for nine yards won't win you many fantasy leagues, both plays proved pivotal to the Seahawks' winning in Week 6. His fourth-quarter reception kept Seattle's eventual game-winning drive alive, as he hauled in a 3rd-and-2 pass from Wilson with 3:40 to play to move the offense deeper into Falcons territory.
"I give all the credit to Russell and his athleticism to even get the ball off to me," Collins said of his 9-yard catch that came with multiple Atlanta players in Wilson's face. "I was just doing my job in there. I had to pick up a blitz and I felt the flow of the guys, so in my mind I knew Russell had to scramble out because of how they played me, so I just tried to be available for Russ and he did a great job of giving me the ball."
Said Wilson: “He was supposed to be kind of pass blocking and then late in release potentially, depending on what the look was. He did a good job, made a good decision in ball play, that’s what you love about him.”
Added Carroll: "The little dump from Wilson was a huge play for us, so [Collins] did his part today. I was really fired up to see that.”
Collins' catch help set up a 44-yard field goal from kicker Steven Hauschka four plays later that made it 26-24, a score Seattle's defense managed to hold onto for a win that upped the Seahawks' record to 4-1 on the season, good for first place in the NFC West.
“It’s amazing just to be in here with these same guys in the locker room," said Collins. "These guys are great, awesome guys. Just talent all around the room and just to be a part of it makes me feel special.”