Seahawks Fall to Falcons

Seahawks Fall to Falcons

It was a forgone conclusion that the Seahawks were going to treat their final regular season game of 2007 much like they would the third preseason game. Play the starters for a half, then sit them down and let the reserves get extended playing time.

That's what happened in the Georgia Dome on Sunday afternoon and the result was a 44-41 win by Atlanta over Seattle to end the regular season.

"We wanted to win the football game, but we got health out of it and that was a big plus," Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren told the assembled media shortly after the game.

"It doesn't matter who you're playing or when you're playing. I've said that a million times. If you are entrusted with the football, it's your job to take care of the football. And we didn't do it two series in a row and gave them 14 points."

Atlanta QB Chris Redman threw four touchdown passes, including two to tight end Alge Crumpler, as the Falcons took advantage of three costly Seahawks turnovers and fought off a late rally by the visitors for a 44-41 victory.

Even though the offense didn't help the defense out any with the turnovers, S Deon Grant was not happy his team surrendered a 10 point lead to a 4-12 ball club.

"Every game means something to me," Grant told the media after the game. "I don't care if it's against my little sister. I don't like to be embarrassed. We had them 10-0, and they had won just three games. We gave up 44 points. That's definitely not good."

LB Julian Peterson had a different take.

"We were playing basic defense," Peterson said. "We shot ourselves in the foot with the turnovers. We still have a great defense."

The 44 points were the most points surrendered since a 44-41 overtime loss at Baltimore back on Nov. 23, 2003.

Redman, who was Atlanta's third starter at quarterback this season (Joey Harrington and Byron Leftwich were the other two) started the final four games and was 17-of-27 for 251 yards with no interceptions versus the Seahawks on Sunday.

"He was outstanding," interim head coach Emmitt Thomas said. "When he gets protection, he can throw the football. We were able to keep (Patrick) Kerney off him."

Kerney, who played his first eight seasons with Atlanta, began the day leading the NFL with 14.5 sacks, but he had only one tackle and no sacks and lost out on the league sack title when Kansas City DE Jared Allen posted two sacks in a loss to the New York Jets to finish the season with 15.5 sacks.

Atlanta RB Warrick Dunn wracked up 70 yards on the ground including a five-yard scoring run in the second quarter while the venerable Morten Andersen kicked three field goals for Atlanta.

Shaun Alexander and Maurice Morris, who combined to rush for 91 yards and two scores (runs of two and 29 yards), continued to encourage the Seattle coaching staff with their production on the ground.

Crumpler was the big target for Redman hauling in three passes for 67 yards, including two for scores of 55 and seven yards, while WR Roddy White added five receptions for 62 yards and 10 yard touchdown as well.

The turning point in the game was when Seattle, on two successive drives, handed the ball to Atlanta deep in their own territory leading to two touchdowns.

Seahawks backup QB Seneca Wallace fumbled when hit by DT Jonathan Babineaux and DT Montavious Stanley recovered to set up the first score.

Then, on the first play of Seattle's next possession, Wallace was intercepted by Chris Crocker, who returned the ball 18 yards to the Seahawks 10 and on the first play following the turnover, White's hauled in Redman's pass to give the Falcons a 41-27 lead.

But Wallace showed the moxie and competitive spirit that makes the Seattle coaches love him when he recovered to throw touchdown passes of 45 and 13 yards to WR Nate Burleson.

Hasselbeck completed 15 of 25 passes for 147 yards, a touchdown and a fumble, while Wallace finished 17 of 22 with 206 yards through the air, including two touchdowns, the one interception and the fumble.

A couple of Seahawks hit milestones on Sunday as Hasselbeck, who needed just 23 yards to break his franchise record of 3,841 yards passing set in 2003, completed his first three passes for 38 yards, including a 15-yarder to TE Marcus Pollard, for the record.

Alexander finished off the opening drive with a two-yard touchdown run and became the eighth player in NFL history to rush for 100 touchdowns.

Seattle (10-6) will play host to the Washington Redskins next Saturday in the first round of the NFL playoffs.

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