What was touted as a marquee matchup quickly turned into an outright beating. The Drew Brees-Sean Payton-led New Orleans Saints were held to 188 yards of total offense. The Seattle Seahawks had 315 yards of offense at the end of the first half.
The win gives Seattle a two-game lead on the rest of the NFC as it prepares to head to San Francisco for the rematch with its division rivals.
New Orleans - 7
Seattle - 34
|Position Unit||First-Half Grade||Final Grade|
vs. Saints Week 13
Final Analysis for the Seattle Seahawks
Pass Offense: Things slowed down quite a bit in the second half, by design after gaining 315 yards of offense at the half. Russell Wilson threw for more than 300 yards for the first time since Week 1 and had three passing touchdowns on the day.
The offensive line stood its ground, allowing just one sack, giving Wilson plenty of time to throw for most of the game. Zach Miller led the way for receivers with five catches for 86 yards and a touchdown. Doug Baldwin added one more catch in the second half to give him four for 77 yards and a score.
Run Offense: Wilson also led the running game, on a quiet day for the unit, with 47 yards on eight carries. Marshawn Lynch never really got things going, finishing with 45 yards on 16 totes. Robert Turbin came in and spelled Lynch late, racking up 34 yards. The Seahawks finished with 127 yards total for the game.
Pass Defense: Brees threw for a measly 147 yards. You would have to go back to Week 17 of the 2010 season for the last time Brees threw for less than 200 yards. The Seattle secondary combined with the consistent pressure the front four got had a remarkable performance in the game.
Jimmy Graham finished the game with three catches for 42 yards and the Saints' lone score. Darren Sproles led in receptions with seven for 32 yards, while Pierre Thomas had four for 21. The Saints couldn't stretch the field or get the screen game going.
Run Defense: New Orleans had 17 carries for 44 yards, averaging 2.6 yards per carry. Twelve of the team's yards came on a handoff to fullback Jed Collins. It was a dominant display by the Seahawks' run defense after being gashed on the ground in prior weeks.
Special Teams: The coverage units did their usual quality job, holding the Saints to no return on punts and an average of 18 yards on three kick returns. Steven Hauschka made both of his field-goal attempts in the first half and wasn't needed for anything but an extra-point kick in the second.
Coaching: Pete Carroll had the team ready from the opening kickoff, and the Saints didn't seem to have an answer for anything Seattle threw at them. New Orleans couldn't make stops in the passing game after entering the night ranked third in the category, and the Saints offense was absolutely stymied.
First-Half Analysis for the Seattle Seahawks
Passing Offense: The passing game has been the impetus of the Seahawks offense through two quarters, with Russell Wilson throwing for 226 yards and two touchdowns. For the most part, the pocket has been pretty clean for Wilson to throw in.
Wilson has victimized the Saints' usually tough pass defense for gains of 52 and 60 yards, as New Orleans has made it a priority to stop Lynch and the running game. Zach Miller has three receptions for 75 yards and a score, Doug Baldwin has three grabs for 63 yards and a touchdown, and Golden Tate has come up with two catches for first downs and 29 yards.
Run Offense: Lynch has been held completely in check on his 11 carries, until late in the half. He has totalled 40 yards rushing, with a long of 14. Wilson took off on a handful read-option plays and scrambled for 38 yards of his own. The offensive line has done a solid job of opening up the running lanes it has with the way the Saints have been stacking the box.
Pass Defense: The Seattle secondary has shown no signs of missing Browner or Thurmond so far, holding New Orleans to three-and-out and nine total yards on their first three possessions. Drew Brees has completed a lot of passes, 13 of 16, but he has not been able to make any big gains. Brees had just 74 yards and a touchdown in the half.
Jimmy Graham has not been able to make any major contributions other than the touchdown grab, pulling down two passes for 22 yards. Those 22 yards lead all Saints receivers through the half, but New Orleans will need much more from its dynamic tight end if it wants to make this a game.
Run Defense: Fullback Jed Collins leads New Orleans' ground game with one carry for 12 yards. The Saints haven't been able to find any room to run the ball. The Seahawks defensive front has been dominant, with a tackle for loss and a sack-fumble by Cliff Avril that was recovered and returned 22 yards for a touchdown by Michael Bennett.
Special Teams: Steven Hauschka remains on a roll, putting two more field goals on the board. The special teams units haven't had any major effects on the game otherwise. The Saints have made two kick returns for an average of 14.5 yards.
Coaching: Despite the distraction of losing two top players in the secondary during the bye week, the Seahawks have come out prepared to play and are dominating almost every aspect of the game. The defense has taken away Brees' favorite weapon, and the run defense has been stout so far. It will take a lot for New Orleans to get back into this game.