If there was anything the league learned on Sunday, it is that the Saints are never down under any circumstance. They were able to pull away with a 33-27 win over the Seahawks on the road in rainy weather without Drew Brees at the helm. But the bigger picture is how they were able to do it. The Saints won in all three phases early on and put Seattle in a deep hole. Now let us breakdown the moments that helped the team silence all the critics.
Let’s Go Hunting
Demario Davis set the tempo before the game even started. He asked Brees if he could lead the pre-game huddle and did so. The energy flowed from that moment onward. If you have not seen it, I highly suggest taking a gander. Davis has been such a great leader on and off the field. Easily one of the best signings in team history.
The Saints won the coin toss and deferred to let the defense set the tone early. They did exactly that by forcing a three and out from the Seahawks. No one would have expected what happened next. Deonte Harris fields the punt, makes a few moves and had a clear path to the end zone to put the team up early. He is a major threat every time he touches the ball and Darren Rizzi has put in work with this unit. The team could not have asked for a better start against the odds.
Both teams would trade punts and Russell Wilson would be able to lead his offense down the field for a touchdown. Two plays to point out both went to Tyler Lockett. I have to give credit for the play calling and execution. Saints were in Cover 2 and Lockett came across the field to the left for a 32 yard gain. Wilson did enough to make Marcus Williams bite the short route to get the completion. The next is the touchdown play where Lockett stops and rolls towards the corner of the end zone. A.J. Klein had the coverage but Williams missed the chance to pass off his zone and cover. But again, Seattle used creativity and speed to their advantage.
No Whistle This Time
Both squads traded punts again and Seattle was looking to gain momentum. Thomas Morstead was phenomenal downing them inside the 5 yard line. Chris Carson proceeds to get a big gain on the second play of this drive but Eli Apple came up huge at the end of it. He punched the ball out right before the runner was down and Vonn Bell returned it for a touchdown. The momentum would shift tremendously towards the black and gold for the rest of the game.
Stop & Go
Seattle was looking to tie the game before halftime. They faced a 4th and 1 inside Saints’ territory. The defense, once again, lived up to the task and stopped Carson well short. The best thing about this was seeing Dennis Allen’s reaction on the sideline. He could not have been more hyped. Soon after, Teddy Bridgewater led the offense in the two minute drill. He finessed them down the field that was capped off with a 29 yard screen touchdown to Alvin Kamara. A huge boost knowing they would get the ball back after halftime.
Sealing The Deal
Is there a better way to drain your opponent of all hopes in making a comeback? The Saints have the answer for you. They worked another extensive drive and were forced to kick a field goal. However, Wil Lutz would miss well short; but the Seahawks committed a penalty that gave the Saints a first down to continue. They would get down to the one yard line and score with Bridgewater connecting with Michael Thomas on a quick screen. The best part is that this drive would eat up half the clock in the third quarter. Sean Payton came in with a game plan and it worked out perfectly for the most part.
This was an overall great team win. All the critics had their doubts and put them on silent mode with this victory. We have to give credit to Wilson for his elusiveness because if not for that, the end result would have been a blowout. More importantly, Payton played it safe with the rainy conditions. Hopefully next week against the Cowboys we can a little more aggressiveness and take shots down the field as well as establish the run game early and often.