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Hawks Don’t Have Enough, Succumb To Brees And Saints

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Saints Fans had a lot to cheer about on Sunday.

Seahawks Coach Pete Carrol stated he was proud of his team’s effort Sunday during their 34-19 loss at New Orleans, and while some may say they put forth a valiant effort, the game exposed some major flaws in the team.

The bottom line for this game was that Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense had their way with the Seahawks defense, which proved to be too much for the Hawks to overcome. There is still a bright side though as Seattle (5-5) is still sitting alone in first place in the NFC West, with four home games remaining down the stretch.

This NFL season has been an up and down impossible-to-predict story so far, and no team epitomizes this more than Seattle. In their five wins they have converted third downs, pressured the opposing quarterback and stopped teams on third down. In the five losses they have looked under-manned, confused and inept. Yesterday was a bit of a departure as, despite the spread, they did some things right in the loss. The things they did wrong, however, are a concern moving forward.

The Seahawks were non-existent on Defense yesterday. Brees was barely pressured and had receivers open all day long. He threw for 382 yards and 4 big touchdowns, and it didn’t appear he broke a sweat. The Seahawks defense has been regressing the past few weeks and has given up an average of 32 points a game in the last four. While they have been somewhat successful against the run, they are being torched by opposing quarterbacks. Brees must have had pleasant dreams the night before the game, thinking about the big plays he would have available.

On Offense the Seahawks continue to struggle scoring touchdowns in the Red Zone. They have only scored twice in their last eleven trips inside the opponent’s 20 yard line. The reason is simple: they can not run the ball. The offensive line has improved its pass protection as Matt Haselbeck wasn’t sacked and was able to throw for 366 yards yesterday, but they can not get a push in the running game. It’s getting to the point where the other team knows they can’t run at the goal line, and are sitting back defending the pass. Yesterday, faced with a third and goal from the two, the Seahawks came out in the shot gun – which is the same as telling the Saints, ‘we are passing’. The result? Seven defenders in the end zone and an incomplete pass. The Hawks need to score touchdowns if they expect to have a chance down the stretch.

The good from yesterday:

Matt Hasselbeck was great for the second straight week. He wasn’t sacked, didn’t turn the ball over, and hit on some big pass plays. It seems that getting hit in the head was good for number 8 as he has had a QB Rating over 100 in the two games since his concussion. The more realistic answer could be that he and his young receivers are finally figuring each other out.

The Bad:

The Refs. Now, it’s kind of bush league to blame officials, and they certainly weren’t the reason the Seahawks lost yesterday but the roughing the passer call on Raheem Brock late in the second quarter was brutal. The Seahawks had just stopped the Saints on third and long when Brock was flagged. The call gave the Saints the first down and they drove down the field and scored to make the score 27-10. While protecting the QB is important, for the ref to see Brock’s shoulder hit Brees in the chest and think it was a helmet to helmet hit is brutal.

The Ugly:

The Seahawks defense. 494 total yards, 34 points and allowing five consecutive touchdown drives pretty much says it all.