Seahawks’ offense was ineffective in upset loss to New Orleans

A week after dinking and dunking all over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Seattle Seahawks offense returned it’s ineffective run game in a embarrassing loss to the Saints.

For Seattle, this game was put out of reach midway through the third quarter when Sean Payton dialed up a picket fence on fourth and one to give the Saints a 20-point lead.

Michael Thomas’s touchdown catch capped off a 12 play, 75 yard drive that consumed pretty much the first half of the third quarter. In fact, that drive should have ended seven plays earlier when a Will Lutz 53-yard field goal attempt fell short…but a defensive lineman lined up over the center for a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down.

New Orleans would add another touchdown to secure its 33-27 victory over the Seahawks. Russell Wilson would score two rushing touchdowns, and toss one to Will Dissly on an untimed down, to make the score look respectable; but the reality is New Orleans dominated this game from the opening kick off.

Thomas’ touchdown was the dagger that put an end to any hope Seattle had at coming back in this game; primarily because of how ineffective the offense had been up to that point.

Seattle’s first possession saw it attempt two screens, both of which lost yards, before they had to punt the ball. That punt was caught by Deonte Harris, and he broke a couple of tackles on his 53-yard return for a touchdown…the first punt or kick-off returned to the end zone in the young NFL season. New Orleans would take an early lead despite a slow start by its own offense.

Seattle would march down the field and punch it in themselves on its third possession of the game on a 16-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett. That drive almost came to an end three plays earlier as the pocket collapsed around Russell Wilson, but he hit Lockett on a 32-yard bomb on third and five to, not only, keep the drive alive but also move the offense deep into New Orleans territory.

The Saints offense followed that touchdown up by running five plays, then punting the ball back to the Seahawks. In fact, Seattle and New Orleans would swap punts before this game turned against the Hawks in a massive way on their fifth offensive possession of the game.

Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer relied heavily on the run game after that first failed offensive drive…that is until the Saints extended the lead to 20-points. But by then it was to little to late, even running a simplified no-huddle offense couldn’t help the team overcome the huge deficit the fumble and punt return had helped put them in. Now to be fair to Schotty, everything that could go wrong in the first half did for his offense; but he (and head coach Pete Carroll) adapted to the deficit way too late and it led to their first loss of the season.