Seahawks race to 24-point lead on Falcons, hang on to stay unbeaten on the road

ATLANTA -- Coming off a 14-point home loss, the Seattle Seahawks could not have asked for a better get-right opportunity than a 1-6 Falcons team playing without Matt Ryan.

They might not have gotten completely right, but they got a 27-20 win that didn't follow the usual script of starting slow and finishing with a flurry. It was the opposite of that, with the Seahawks rolling to a 24-0 halftime lead then playing poorly enough to let Atlanta make a game of it at the end.

Seattle got 90 rugged yards and a touchdown on 20 carries by Chris Carson and an efficient performance from Russell Wilson, who tossed two touchdown passes to DK Metcalf a week after his uncharacteristic pick-six against Baltimore. Their defense got three takeaways but somehow allowed 460 passing yards to backup Matt Schaub.

What could really hurt them: losing center Justin Britt to a serious-looking knee injury. That will necessitate a roster move -- maybe a trade ahead of Tuesday's deadline -- given that Joey Hunt is the only offensive lineman on their 53-man roster with experience at center.

In the meantime, they'll head home with a 6-2 record and their first 4-0 road start since 1980.

Promising trend: It was actually a bad trend the Seahawks took a step toward righting Sunday -- their lack of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. They had only one sack over the past three games -- on a play on which Lamar Jackson slipped -- before getting two against Atlanta from Jadeveon Clowney and Bobby Wagner, who became the franchise's all-time leading tackler Sunday. Clowney has been the one Seahawks pass-rusher who has been generating pressure consistently, but he had only one sack to show for it until this game. He got home on a three-man rush on the final play of the half for a strip-sack. Clowney finished with four hits and got called for being offside twice.

Buy/sell on a breakout performance: Third-year cornerback Shaquill Griffin made a pair of impressive pass-breakups plus a tackle for loss and was covering Julio Jones tightly enough on a deep ball that the All-Pro receiver had to push Griffin to gain separation, drawing a flag. Griffin gave up too many big plays after a strong start to last season. He's playing his best football now and seems to be benefiting from his offseason weight loss that he says has him feeling less fatigued and lighter on his feet.

QB breakdown: This was not a game in which the Seahawks needed another MVP-caliber performance from Wilson. This type of performance was good enough: 14-of-20 for 182 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 131.7 passer rating.

Bold prediction for next week: It usually isn't all that bold to predict more playing time for a former first-round pick, but that's the case with Rashaad Penny. He saw only two snaps last week as the third option behind Carson and C.J. Prosise. With Prosise inactive Sunday, Penny carried eight times for 55 yards and showed some nice burst on a few of those runs. It can be hard for the Seahawks to spell Carson when he's on a roll, but given his injury history and running style, it might benefit him to work Penny in more than the Seahawks have.