When the Who Dat Nation woke up Tuesday morning hurting from the spanking…check that….the absolute curb stomping that the Seattle Seahawks laid on the Saints, the first thing on my mind was what went wrong. Well a lot of things went wrong from blown assignments to just plain getting beat one player at a time. No lipstick in the world can hide this ugly pig but a lot can be learned from it and I truly believe the Saints will.
In my opinion the game was over at halftime with the Saints trailing 27 to 7 but I also think that no team in the league, Broncos and Patriots included could have come back under those circumstances. I don’t think I’ve seen a beat down this bad in the Payton era, the 2007 debacle (41 – 10) against the Colts comes to mind but that game was tied at 10 at halftime before Peyton Manning went off in the second half.
Was this loss deflating? Yes. Was this loss a sign of things to come? No, not by a long shot but as I said they must learn from it. From the coaches who scheme the game plan to the players trying to execute it they have to look in the mirror and man up because if the Saints rebound like I think they are, another date in Seattle is coming.
When in this environment, any play that is there to be made has to be made–the Corey White interception drop and the Marshawn Lynch goal line fumble come to mind. Momentum is huge on the road; and when Rob Ryan gambled, Russell Wilson made him pay. Wilson doesn’t play like a second year third round pick whom is too short; he plays like a ten-year pro bowl vet. Overall I thought they did a good job on Lynch but Wilson, being as good as he is, beat them at what they gave him, sometimes you just got tip your hat to an opposing player for a job well done.
The offense on the other hand just flat-out played bad from the offensive line to the receivers getting no separation and all points in between. So keeping this in mind I truly regret bringing you this week’s installment of the Grind Factor. Some of the plays were so bad that they need no explanation, it’s pretty easy seeing a blown coverage or a lineman getting beat but if I had to suffer re-watching the debacle then so do you.
6:37 left in the 1st quarter the Saints have the ball at their own 25 yard line
This one is pretty simple, Zach Strief get’s beat off the edge by DE Cliff Avril. He hits Brees right before he attempts to pass and the ball is knocked loose. DE Michael Bennett recovers and scores the touchdown.
The reason I showed the obvious is because Jimmy Graham is open finding a soft spot in the zone and if Brees releases the ball a split second earlier then it’s a 15 – 20 yard pick up instead of a Seahawk touchdown.
4:07 left in the 1st quarter Seattle has the ball at their 36 yard line
Seattle comes out in a run heavy two tight end package; the Saints counter putting 8 in the box and bringing Malcolm Jenkins up close to cover TE Luke Wilson who goes into motion. Out of the screen shot is Kennan Lewis out left and Corey White out right.
I honestly don’t know what David Hawthorne was thinking letting Zach Miller go right by him with no safeties on the back-end. He watched Wilson all the way as he rolled to the right, this pitch and catch was way too easy.
Thankfully Miller is slow and Lewis is fast because Lewis caught him just enough for Hawthorne to catch up and make the tackle, it wouldn’t matter, Seattle scored a few plays later.
7:54 left in the 2nd quarter Seattle has the ball at their 23 yard line
Rob Ryan gambles on this one having eight at the line of scrimmage and leaving Malcolm Jenkins one on one with Seattle wide out Doug Baldwin. I give Ryan a pass on this because clearly he wants Wilson to make the throw with pressure coming.
At the snap they all come including Roman Harper and Kenny Vacarro off the edges but Seattle’s line gives Wilson just enough time to get the ball off, it was a great throw with pressure coming.
The end result is Baldwin beating Jenkins for a 52 yard gain, Hat’s off to Wilson and Baldwin for making the play. It was a gamble that probably 70% of the time works but not Monday night, it was just one play of many that didn’t work.
All in all there really isn’t anything positive to take away from the game other than a stellar night from Thomas Morstead punting. The Saints have to put this one behind them quick because the biggest game of the year is this Sunday night. Beating Carolina will go a long way in healing this open wound and will put the Saints squarely in the driver’s seat for the division title. I’m ready to put this one behind too because I know that the team that showed up in Seattle is in no way shape or form indicative of what this team is about, now they just have to go out and prove it and to that I say, as always…..Who Dat!!