Sunday, November 21, 2010
Drew Brees leads Saints over Seahawks 34-19
In a game which saw plenty of passing today as both starting quarterbacks combined to pass for 748 yards saw Drew Brees emerge as the winner. Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints(7-3) won the game 34-19 over the Seattle Seahawks(5-5) simply because the Saints were scoring touchdowns while the Seahawks settled for four field goals. Drew Brees proved to be a bit much for the Seahawks passing for 382 yards and four touchdowns. The Saints unlike the Seahawks also had some balance out rushing the Seahawks 112-58. New Orleans erupted scoring touchdowns on five consecutive drives which spanned at the end of the first quarter through the start of the third quarter.
The Seahawks afer three and outing the Saints began on offense which would feature Matt Hasselbeck and the passing game. Hasselbeck coming off a season high of 333 yards the previous week would top that total this week. On the drive facing a second and 18 from their own 22 Hasselbeck would hit Mike Williams for a 68 yard gain. On the play Williams was caught from behind hurting his ankle. The Seahawks would have to settle for a 20 yard field goal by Olindo Mare.The Saints would respond by featuring the run on their next possession. The Saints would go on a 12 play 80 yard drive which would feature running back Chris Ivory running for 42 yards on eight carries including a one yard touchdown run. The Saints would lead after the first quarter 7-3.
The Seahawks would respond to that touchdown with another long pass from Matt Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck would hit Ben Obomanu for a 42 yard pass. Once again though the Seahawks would have to settle for another Olindo Mare field goal this time from 43 yards out. That would cut the lead to 7-6 but the Saints would respond yet again. The Saints would go on a 10 play 80 yard drive which would be capped by Drew Brees hitting Marques Colston for a 23 yard touchdown as Colston split the Seahawks defenders. The Saints went on a nine play drive covering 42 yards which was capped by another Brees touchdown pass to Robert Meacham on a play action pass from three yards out giving the Saints a 21-6 lead.
The Seahawks would respond to the Saints score by going on long drive themselves. The Seahawks would go on a 12 play 69 yard drive where Hasselbeck was 8 for 10 passing for 63 yards passing. Hasselbeck would hit Obomanu for a two yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 21-13. The Saints would respond which was helped by a questionable third down roughing the passer call. After receiving that gift first down the Saints would march down the field where Brees would hit Colston for Colston's second touchdown pass of the game from 22 yards out. The Saints place holder would drop the ball like Tony Romo and just miss getting the two point conversation as the Saints would lead 27-13.
The Seahawks behind Hasselbeck would give the Seahawks a position to score a touchdown. After Hasselbeck hit two passes for 37 yards the Seahawks would start committing bad penalties which would move them from the Saints 23 yard line to the Saints 43 yard line. Hasselbeck would hit Stockley for 18 yards to set up another field goal by Mare from 43 yards out. The Seahawks would cut the lead to 27-16 at halftime. Both teams were moving the ball through the air just the only difference was the Saints had a running game while the Seahawks didn't.
The Saints would march down the field on their opening possession moving 80 yards in just six plays. Drew Brees would hit passes of 19 and 17 yards out then would hit Meachem from 32 yards out for Brees fourth touchdown pass of the game to give the Saints a 34-16 lead. The Seahawks would settle for another short field goal by Mare in the fourth quarter to cut the lead 34-19. The Saints would go on to win the game 34-19 behind Drew Brees who finished the game 29 of 43 for 382 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Marques Colston was hard to cover and finished with eight receptions for 113 yards with two touchdowns. The Seahawks passing game matched the Saints but the running game was a no show.
The Seahawks passing attack was led by veteran Matt Hasselbeck who was 32 of 44 for 366 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. Hasselbeck had a rating of 104.9 and has thrown for 699 yards the last two weeks showing signs of the old pro bowl version of himself. Mike Williams would have another monster game for the Seahawks catching six passes for 109 yards on the day. The downside to the Seahawks was Marshawn Lynch who had 36 yards rushing on seven carries but would fumble twice and drop two passes. Lynch after his first two games with the Seahawks has been a bust.
The Seahawks fall to 5-5 but good news for them they are in the NFC West and remain in first place. Pete Carroll most importantly has found a way to rejunivate Matt Hasselbecks career. While under Mora Hasselbeck regressed he is playing his best ball in a long time under Carroll. In four of the last five games Hasselbeck has looked really sharp for the Seahawks. As long as Hasselbeck is playing this well I fully expect the Seahawks to be the favorites to win the division. The Seahawks now return home as they'll have four of their next six games at home at Qwest Field where they are 3-1.
- Marshawn Lynch has been a dissapointment since the Seahawks gave up a fourth rounder and a sixth for him. Lynch in his last four games has ran for 120 yards(30.0 YPG) on 40 carries(3.0 YPC) while rushing for just one touchdown and two fumbles. Lynch has also stolen carries from the much faster Justin Forsett. The Seahawks need to find a running game to help Matt Hasselbeck out.
- Matt Hasselbeck is playing some great football right now. This is the first time he threw for back to back 300 yard games since last year on November 8th against the Lions(329) and November 15th against the Cardinals(315). First time he has had back to back games where his quarterback rating was above 100 since the end of the 2005 season where he posted ratings of 127.2 in week 14 vs the 49ers, 147.7 vs Titans in week 15, 131.7 vs Colts in week 16, 104.2 vs Packers in Week 17. Then he continued that run in the playoffs with 100.6 vs Redskins and 118.0 vs the Panthers. Come on Carroll lets resign Hasselbeck soon.
- The Seahawks pass defense has been pretty rough against decent quarterbacks. You saw Eli Manning torch the Seahawks and now Drew Brees. The good news for the Seahawks their next six quarterbacks are Matt Cassell, random Panthers quarterback, Troy Smith, Matt Ryan, Josh Freeman, and Sam Bradford. With the exception of Ryan the rest are eithre bad or unproven. The Seahawks return home and that should help.
- The Seahawks are counting on Olindo Mare way to much this year in the red zone. Mare has kicked 9 for 10 on field goals in the last two games alone. The Seahawks must find a way to score touchdowns in the red zone and not field goals. The Seahawks drove the ball just as much as the Saints did today the only difference was the Saints scored five touchdowns while the Seahawks scored one touchdown and four field goals.
At the end of the day I'm encouraged by this loss. I don't believe in moral victories and the defense has a ton of work to do. I say this because the Seahawks passing offense has come alive. When Matt Hasselbeck is playing like the Hasselbeck of old the Seahawks are by far the best team in the NFC West. Another good news for the Seahawks is they are in the NFC West. Someone has to win this division and even host a playoff game. The Seahawks are 5-5 with four out of six left at home. I look for the Seahawks to win the division still at 9-7 especially if Hasselbeck keeps playing the way he has been playing.