For the second straight week, the Seahawks (4-2-1) offensive line was a major hindrance in their 25-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints (3-4). Repeated false starts, and a clipping call, consistently backed Seattle up.
The final drive ended when Jermaine Kearse was unable to pull in a high, and late, pass from Russell Wilson as time expired. But the drive itself was a thing of beauty as the Hawks dissected the Saints defense to get into the red zone on eight plays, including a brutally efficient passing attack that saw Wilson hit several underneath routes to pick-up first downs. But there wasn’t enough time for Seattle’s offense to punch the ball into the end zone, or get the right personal onto the field.
While the defense struggled, at points, throughout the game, they did enough to keep the offense in the game. Their key moment came when they forced a Saints field goal on their final drive. New Orleans drove the ball down the field on 11 plays, in four minutes and 41 seconds. Unfortunately for the Hawks, they were forced to burn their final timeout when it seemed Tim Hightower was tackled out-of-bounds but the clock continued to run.
The five point lead was huge for the Saints as it forced Seattle to go for the touchdown on the final drive, instead of the field goal.
Seattle committed 11 penalties throughout the game; of those 11 penalties, four were on offense and pushed the Seahawks back 31 yards. One of the more costly penalties was a false start on Christine Michaels that pushed the Seahawks back to New Orleans’ 10 yard line…two plays later, Wilson connected with Tyler Lockett on a seven yard pass leaving the Hawks three yards short of the goal line.
The Seahawks defense looked vulnerable without Michael Bennett on the line and Kam Chancellor. New Orleans spent all night living inbetween the tackles with their running game, and chewed a bunch of time off of the clock. While the Hawks defense only gave up 3.5 yards per carry, the beating and time on the field kept Seattle’s defense on the field and they wore down.
Photo credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images