Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll looks out onto the field during Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints at CenturyLink Field. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll looks out onto the field during Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints at CenturyLink Field. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Grading the Seahawks’ 33-27 loss to the Saints

Not the kind of report card you want to take home to mom and dad.

Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 33-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday afternoon at CenturyLink Field:


The final numbers are deceiving. Seattle stuffed the box score with largely irrelevant back-to-back fourth-quarter touchdown drives, and Russell Wilson threw for more than 400 yards. What contributed to the loss was Seattle’s inability to get the run game going, another Chris Carson lost fumble and seven points through three quarters. Take away Carson’s 23-yard run and Wilson’s rushing, and Seattle’s running backs averaged 1.9 yards per carry. Overall, an out-of-rhythm day for Brian Schottenheimer’s offense.

Grade: C-


Just three of New Orleans’ touchdowns were on Seattle’s defense, but at home facing a backup quarterback, this wasn’t a great defensive performance. Saints star running back Alvin Kamara impressed all day, compiling 161 total yards and two scores. Most notably, though, were the missed tackles. Sure, Kamara is regarded as one of the NFL’s shiftiest runners, but time and time again the New Orleans back gained additional yardage thanks to missed tackles. There was plenty of excitement around defensive end Ziggy Ansah’s season debut, and how much pressure he could generate in tandem with Jadeveon Clowney. Seattle’s pass rush recorded zero sacks and two hits on Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater.

Grade: C-


A first-quarter Saints punt return touchdown by Deonte Harris set the table for a day of poor special-teams play. The punt return, combined with an illegal formation penalty on a missed Saints field goal that gave New Orleans a first down that led to a touchdown, accounted for 14 of the Saints’ 33 points. Conversely, Seattle’s return game wasn’t overly impressive. Also, Saints punter Thomas Morestead twice pinned the Seahawks inside their 5-yard line. A third-quarter muffed punt recovery by Cody Barton isn’t enough to push the special teams unit above a failing grade.

Grade: F


What stands out most is Seattle’s inability to slow down Saints running back Alvin Kamara. With future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Drew Brees out with an injury, it’s surprising the Seahawks didn’t have a better plan to limit Kamara, who finished with 161 total yards and two TDs. Twice Seattle called timeouts to avoid a penalty for 12 men on the field, and Pete Carroll lost a pass-interference challenge when the Sehawks decided to pass deep on a fourth-and-one. The Seahawks made critical errors throughout the game and seemed to overlook a Bridgewater-led Saints team.

Grade: D


The Seahawks had a great opportunity to push their record to 3-0, playing at home with QB Drew Brees sidelined. Instead, Seattle made critical errors and suffered its first September home loss since 2009. New Orleans scored in all three phases and never trailed after a first-quarter punt return touchdown. It’s a disappointing loss, but Seattle has a good chance to rebound with a trip to the desert next week for an NFC West matchup with the Arizona Cardinals.

Grade: D

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