Russell Wilson cooked, Jamal Adams never looked bored and the Seahawks dominated the Atlanta Falcons 38-25 in their season opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The Falcons scored a field goal on their opening drive then sacked the Seahawks on their first offensive play. After that, it was the Russell Wilson cooking show. The catch phrase, “Let Russ Cook”, has been a popular catch phrase during the Seattle offseason, implying that the Seahawks need to let Russell Wilson have the ball more and have the offense flow through him. And flow it did. Wilson completed 8 passes in the 13-play, 77-yard opening drive, capping it off with a touchdown pass to runningback Chris Carson. The Seahawks jumped out to an early 7-3 lead and never looked back. Wilson finished the day with an MVP-level performance, going 31-35, 322 yards, 4 touchdowns, no interceptions. He was extremely efficient, with an 88.6% completion percentage and a quarterback rating of 143.1. Wilson broke the franchise record for the most touchdowns thrown by a Seahawks quarterback in a season-opener.
The Jets defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams predicted that Jamal Adams would be bored in Seattle because the Seahawks don’t creatively utilize their safeties as much as the Jets do. Adams looked anything but bored in this game. He was everywhere – defending passes, tackling Falcons runningbacks in the backfield and blitzing quarterback Matt Ryan – as he kept the Seahawks defense inspired and focused with his boundless energy. He finished the game with 8 solo tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1 sack. In his post-game presser, he fired back at his former coach, Williams, adamantly stating he was never “bored.”
Despite the dominating performance by the Seahawks, it was far from a perfect performance. The defense gave up 450 yards in the air to Falcons QB Matt Ryan, granted many of them during garbage time in the fourth quarter. Wide receivers Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage each had over 100 yards receiving. Combined with 72 yards rushing, the Falcons amassed 506 total yards of offense. The Seattle secondary was beat team several times, including one play where Jamal Adams and Shaquill Griffin ran into each other and left Ridley wide-open for a touchdown. The offensive line gave up 3 sacks and in one series, the offense committed two consecutive false starts and a holding penalty limiting a drive to a field goal. The Seahawks special teams also allowed the Falcons to convert a late rare onside kick making the end of the game more interesting than it should have been. Fortunately for the Seahawks, they were able to overcome their imperfections and were clutch in key moments, especially on 4th down where Wilson threw a long touchdown pass to D.K., Metcalf. Conversely, 4th down was the undoing for the Falcons, going 0-4, including a failed fake punt that resulted in a fumble and a subsequent touchdown for the Seahawks. If their offensive performance against Atlanta is any indicator of 2020, the Seahawks will be a high-scoring, hard to beat team this season.