The last Mountaineer standing, Bruce Irvin, fell today in the NFC divisional playoff round.
Seattle came into the Georgia Dome, looking to pull off a big win on the road over the Falcons. With a depleted defensive line, Bruce Irvin was expected to play every snap and be a major factor in both the run stop and pass rush. For the Seahawks to claim victory, many pundits (myself included) believed that Seattle would need a huge performance from Irvin to have a shot at slowing down the Falcons offense.
By and large, Irvin was a non-factor against he Falcons. Bruce registered one lone tackle on the afternoon on a run play. He was able to get little pressure on Matt Ryan as the Falcons routinely chipped and double teamed the stud pass rusher. The Atlanta game plan to neutralize Irvin and the Seattle blitz worked exceptionally well as Matt Ryan was not sacked once.
The two teams engaged in an exciting offensive match that had little in the way of defense. The Falcons built an early 20-0 lead that would evaporate late in the fourth quarter with the Seahawks claiming a 28-27 lead with under a minute to play. With only 34 seconds to work, the Falcons drove the field for a game-winning field goal, ending Bruce Irvin’s stellar rookie campaign. It was certainly a miraculous finish, one that will be remembered as one of the best playoff finishes in recent history.
Inclusive of the playoffs, Irvin finished the year with 18 tackles, 9 sacks, a forced fumble, and fumble recovery. Bruce certainly established himself as the dominant rookie pass rusher this season. He figures to be a defensive force for the Seahawks going forward.