Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 13-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Monday night at Lumen Field:
Seattle basically had one play the entire game: the 84-yard touchdown pass from Geno Smith to DK Metcalf in the first quarter that was as much a product of Metcalf’s physical freakishness as anything. Otherwise, the Seahawks’ offense was a zero. The Saints took away the run game as they showed little respect for Smith’s passing ability, and Smith took sacks at every critical juncture in the second half as Seattle finished with a season-worst 219 yards of offense. Might we see Lake Stevens High School graduate Jacob Eason at quarterback next week?
Unfortunately, Seattle wasted its best defensive performance of the season. The team that came into the game ranked last in the NFL in yards allowed per game limited the Saints to 304 yards, which was the fewest the Seahawks have allowed in a game this season, and Ugo Amadi’s forced fumble gifted Seattle the tying field goal. Though Seattle allowed two long drives, the Seahawks managed to hold the Saints to field goals on both occasions. But the defense wasn’t up to the task at the end of halves, as it allowed a quick-strike touchdown drive at the end of the first half, then a bad roughing-the-passer penalty by Marquise Blair late in the fourth quarter aided New Orleans on its game-winning drive.
Some allowance needs to be made for the fact the game was played in difficult weather conditions, as rain and wind affected play throughout the game. But kicker Jason Myers was just 1-for-3 on field goals — which were admittedly a high degree of difficulty. Punter Michael Dickson was merely solid rather than his usual game-altering self. And Al Woods jumping offside on a 42-yard field-goal attempt handed the Saints a first down, ultimately turning the game-winning field goal by a rookie kicker from a tricky tester into a 33-yard chip shot.
For much of the game it looked like Seattle’s offensive play calling was scared, going super conservative in an effort to limit the amount Smith threw the ball. In the fourth quarter we saw why that might be the case. The Seahawks did a nice job taking Saints star running back Alvin Kamara out of play in the run game, but struggled to figure a way to handle Kamara as a receiving threat. The decision to alternate series at left cornerback between Sidney Jones and Tre Brown was curious, but didn’t seem to hurt. As always, there were some third-down play calls and punt calls that can be second-guessed. Get Metcalf more targets, please.
Another week, another close loss for the Seahawks, and there’s no bonus points for being in games late. While the defense has recovered after being historically bad through five games, the offense is stuck in quicksand. The Seahawks were hoping they could tread water while starting quarterback Russell Wilson is on the shelf with his finger injury, and the rumblings suggest Wilson may be back in time for Seattle’s game at Green Bay on Nov. 14. But even if Seattle is without Wilson for just one more game, at 2-5 his return may be too late to salvage the season.
– Nick Patterson, Herald writer