New Orleans Saints vs. Seattle Seahawks: Live Grades and Analysis for the Saints

James ErmilioCorrespondent IIIDecember 2, 2013

Drew Brees is gunning for the conference's top seed.
Drew Brees is gunning for the conference's top seed.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Seahawks dominated the hapless Saints to clinch a playoff berth in Seattle.  

Final Score:

New Orleans Saints: 7

Seattle Seahawks: 34

Check below for updated scores along with halftime and postgame grades and analysis!

New Orleans Saints Game Grades
Positional UnitHalftime GradesPostgame Grades
Pass OffenseDD-
Run OffenseD-D
Pass DefenseD-D-
Run DefenseD+C
Special TeamsC-C
Bleacher Report

Final Analysis for the New Orleans Saints

Pass Offense:  Drew Brees posted his lowest QBR of the season at just 22.7, averaging just 3.9 YPA as the Seahawks swarmed the flats, generated pressure and never let him get comfortable. Brees completed just three passes over 20 yards all game. 

Run Offense:  The rushing offense regressed against an elite Seahawks defense.  Mark Ingram led the way with 22 yards, but it came on just 2.8 YPC as the Saints got over a quarter of their rush yards from one 12 yard run by fullback Jed Collins.

Pass Defense:  Russell Wilson carved up an uncharacteristically swiss-cheese Saints defense with three touchdowns on 73 percent passing. The Saints' slow LBs (particularly Curtis Lofton) had a hard time keeping up with crossing patterns and TE Zach Miller, who had 86 yards and a touchdown.

Run Defense:  The run defense did keep Marshawn Lynch (2.8 YPC and a fumble) at bay, but they lost contain on Russell Wilson several times.  Wilson averaged 5.9 YPA on eight carries and softened up the Saints defense for the passing attack. 

Special Teams: Thomas Morstead boomed six punts at a 49.5 yard per attempt rate, but when the Saints are punting six times, there's a problem for the New Orleans offense. Not much else of note happened on special teams.

Coaching:  This was an unmitigated blowout by Seattle, a team that came out firing and shut down the Saints offense.  Sean Payton's offensive prowess wasn't enough to counter the Seahawks defense, which held the Saints to 3.9 yards per pass and 2.6 yards per rush.  Next week will be a big test for the Saints, who need to regroup against the division rival Carolina Panthers

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 02:  Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints looks on against the Seattle Seahawks during a game at CenturyLink Field on December 2, 2013 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

First-Half Analysis for the New Orleans Saints

Pass Offense: Drew Brees was efficient but not effective against the tenacious Seahawks defense, which pursued his receivers sideline to sideline with a ferocity he hasn't experienced this season.  He finished with an 81 percent completion rate but just 74 yards in an uncharacteristically dink-and-dunk first half.  Jimmy Graham led the Saints with a paltry 22 yards receiving in the half.

Run Offense: The rush offense was no better than the pass offense, as the Saints mustered just 19 rush yards on 2.1 yards per carry in the half.  Twelve of those 19 yards come from one rush by fullback Jed Collins, as the Saints otherwise were a no-show on the ground.

Pass Defense: Russell Wilson dominated the Saints passing defense with 226 first half yards on 74 percent passing and two touchdowns.  The normally stout Saints passing defense was sliced and diced by a Seahawks offense that found a number of soft spots in coverage. 

Run Defense: This was the worst half of the Saints' season defensively, as the woes of their pass coverage were shared by their rushing defense.  New Orleans let up 89 yards on 4.9 yards per carry, including 38 yards by Wilson, who was able to escape pocket contain with ease.  One forced fumble on Marshawn Lynch was unfortunately recovered by Seattle in a rough half for New Orleans.

Special Teams: Not much of note from the Saints special teams except for a continued strong performance from Thomas Morstead (49.3 YPP). 

Coaching: This was an uncharacteristically bad performance from the Saints offense, including a pathetic 4.6 yards per attempt from the passing game.  The Saints also had no pass rush and lost contain on Wilson a number of times.  The only saving grace was the discipline from the Saints in terms of penalties (just two, although a few more could have come from taunting after big plays).