Question on the Seahawks: Can you figure out why they look pretty good against good teams and so bad against teams they're supposed to beat?
They're young. And they don't have an established leader who can keep their focus steady every week. They also seem to lack any tangible goals. They just go from week to week without the intensity and focus an NFL team needs to be successful.
Question on the Falcons: How deflating is this loss, especially considering their loss in Tampa last week?
It's tough to lose a game like last week. But if it affected the Falcons' play this week, it reflects a lack of maturity (remember, the Falcons are young too). Michael Vick needs to find ways to get other guys involved. The Falcons can't look to a second-year QB alone and put all the pressure to win on him.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.
After Atlanta's Jay Feely missed a 36-yard field goal in
overtime, Alexander ran 27 yards for a touchdown, giving the
Seahawks a 30-24 victory Sunday.
"I have to shoulder this burden,'' Feely said. "That's my job,
to make field goals.''
Vick, who did little right through 3½ quarters, helped the
Falcons tie the game with a 12-yard TD pass to Trevor Gaylor with
17 seconds left in regulation. He then drove his team to the 18 in
the extra period to set up Feely's try.
But the kick sailed wide right, and the Seahawks (5-9) quickly
made Atlanta pay.
Matt Hasselbeck completed a 21-yard pass to Koren Robinson on
third-and-6, and Alexander did the rest. On second down, he broke
through the middle and easily outran the defense to hand the
Falcons (8-5-1) their second straight loss.
"Mack Strong, who is probably the best fullback in the NFL, hit
the linebacker and gave me a good angle, and I had the easy part,''
Alexander said. "I just had to run.''
It was the 22nd overtime game of the season, breaking the NFL
record set in 1995, and no team has contributed more than the
Falcons -- 1-2-1 in four OT games.
There has been at least one overtime game in 12 of the 15 weeks
"We have had bad luck in overtime this year,'' Atlanta
linebacker Keith Brooking said. "We had a lot of opportunities to
win the game and didn't do it.''
Vick was 21-of-38 for 240 yards, and he ran for 40 yards on 13
carries. He injured his throwing hand in the second quarter,
hitting a helmet on his follow-through, but stayed in the game.
Hasselbeck finished 22-of-31 for 298 yards and a touchdown, but
his performance nearly was overshadowed by Vick's.
"I feel Matt is getting into the comfort zone,'' Robinson said.
"It's his offense now and we are rolling with him.''
Until the final drive of regulation, Vick had completed only 12
of 24 passes for 117 yards. A 43-yard field goal by Rian Lindell
with 1:55 left in the fourth quarter gave the Seahawks a 24-17
But Vick directed a nine-play, 77-yard drive to force overtime.
He completed 5 of 9 passes for all the Falcons' yardage on the
"I knew we were going to send the game into overtime,'' Vick
said. "Maybe that's the way we need to play the entire game. Throw
the ball downfield, improvise and make plays.''
He showed remarkable poise even before the tying play, calmly
gathering his teammates as they faced fourth-and-8 with the clock
running and only 30 seconds left. With the sellout crowd buzzing
with anticipation, Vick took the snap, paused in the pocket, then
hit Gaylor on the numbers to force overtime.
The Falcons still stayed in the chase for one of two NFC wild
cards, a half-game behind New Orleans (9-5).
Alexander ran for 127 yards and a TD, helping the Seahawks rally
from a 17-7 halftime deficit. They outgained Atlanta 126-12 in the
third quarter and took the lead when cornerback Willie Williams
poked the ball out of Vick's hands and ran 25 yards for a
"We didn't change the game plan at halftime,'' Seattle coach
Mike Holmgren said. "When we were able to score a touchdown right
away in the third quarter, we got back into the game.''
Earlier, cornerback Ken Lucas intercepted two of Vick's passes,
returning the first one 27 yards to set up Seattle's first score.
Hasselbeck, questionable for the game because of a sprained
foot, consistently found his receivers open for big gains. Two of
his most important completions came late in the fourth quarter -- a
35-yarder to Robinson and a 5-yarder to Darrell Jackson on
third-and-4 to set up Lindell's field goal.
After the Seahawks took a 7-0 lead following Vick's first
interception, Allen Rossum returned the kickoff 91 yards for the
tying touchdown. It's the third time Rossum has returned a kick for
a TD, and his first since Nov. 19, 2000.
After missing last week's game with a sprained ankle,
Atlanta RB Warrick Dunn ran for 101 yards. He had just 17 yards in
the second half, though. ... Hasselbeck was sacked twice, but
didn't lose any yards. He fumbled on the first sack, and then
scrambled back to the line of scrimmage on the second. ... Brooking
had 12 tackles, the 14th straight game he's had 10 or more. ... The
Seahawks failed on two fourth-and-1s, with Hasselbeck stuffed one
time and Alexander stopped on the other.
Drew Brees smacks a couple of softball home runs during his teammate Tim Lelito's charity softball game.
The NFL says it is close but still has yet to interview the four players named along with Peyton Manning in a report five months ago that linked them to PEDs.
ESPNDallas columnist Jean-Jacques Taylor and NFL Nation reporter Todd Archer discuss what Randy Gregory needs to do to have a long future with the Cowboys, plus a Dez Bryant-Russell Westbrook comparison.
ESPN Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson discusses how Kevin White looked in Chicago's OTA on Wednesday.
ESPN Redskins reporter John Keim says Preston Smith and the defense, including safety DeAngelo Hall, had a big day against the offense Wednesday.
ESPN Browns reporter Pat McManamon explains that perennial Pro Bowl tackle knows the wear and tear on his body; if he needs a day off in OTAs and during the season, Cleveland Browns are wise to give it to him.