The Seattle Seahawks hosted the New Orleans Saints on Monday, October 25, capping off Week 7. The home team had an opportunity to bounce back from consecutive losses, but lack of a passing attack and missed field goals dropped the team into a deeper hole on a night where they inducted Matt Hasselbeck into the Ring of Honor.
The offense started quickly as backup quarterback Geno Smith connected with DK Metcalf on the offense’s second drive. He hit Metcalf down the sideline, and then the big receiver raced his way to an 84-yard touchdown to put the Seahawks up 7-0. However, the situation changed at that point.
Smith only targeted Metcalf four more times after the initial catch-and-score, resulting in three incompletions and an eight-yard reception. The final target — a throw into the turf — took place as Smith tried to lead a comeback late in the fourth quarter.
Tyler Lockett, the other top option in the passing attack, only saw three targets from Smith. He caught two of these passes for a total of 12 yards, but he had little impact on the 13-10 loss while Freddie Swain brought in four of his six targets for 39 yards. Tight end Gerald Everett added three receptions of his own for 11 yards, but he also drew a 15-yard taunting penalty.
The Seahawks offense finished with 219 yards against the Saints, marking a particularly low point for the unit. The defending NFC West champions have now had three consecutive opportunities to drive down the field late in the fourth quarter and secure a win but have fallen short each time. The latest loss gave the Seahawks three straight for the first time since the 2011 season.
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Unfavorable Weather & Ill-Timed Sacks Led to Missed Scoring Opportunities
The offense has failed to generate points without Russell Wilson under center, and this trend continued during the loss to the Saints. Dennis Allen’s defense registered five sacks due to a combination of offensive line struggles and Smith holding on to the ball too long.
Despite the struggles, the Seahawks still had two opportunities to take the lead from the Saints and secure an important win. One occurred early in the third quarter after Saints penalties and a Travis Homer 14-yard run set kicker Jason Myers up for a 44-yard field goal. However, he missed and gave the ball back to the Saints.
The second opportunity took place at the start of the fourth quarter. The Seahawks drove to the 24-yard line and appeared to be within reach of even more points. However, Smith took an 11-yard sack and forced Myers to attempt a 53-yard field goal into the rain and wind on the open end of the stadium. The veteran missed wide left and the game remained tied at 10-10.
The Defense Had Both Standout & Disappointing Moments
While the offense struggled to put together scoring drives, the defense actually kept the Saints mostly in check. DJ Reed, Sidney Jones, and Tre Brown all played meaningful snaps and helped limit Jameis Winston and his receivers. However, this same defense also made critical mistakes at the worst possible times while allowing running back Alvin Kamara to tally 179 combined yards and one touchdown.
Jordyn Brooks made multiple plays for the Seahawks during a strong performance. For example, he recovered a fumble in Saints territory after Ugo Amadi used his helmet to knock the ball loose from Adam Trautman. This recovery set up Myers for a game-tying field goal. Additionally, he jumped into the air in the end zone and deflected a pass intended for Marquez Callaway. Instead of scoring a touchdown, the Saints settled for a field goal.
The big plays helped the Seahawks remain in the game, but the mistakes helped the Saints secure the hard-fought victory. For example, the referees called DJ Reed for pass interference during the second quarter, extending a drive that led to a field goal. Additionally, a questionable roughing the passer penalty on Marquise Blair negated a sack late in the fourth quarter.
The Saints continued moving down the field in search of the game-winning score, but the drive halted once again on the 24-yard line. Brian Johnson lined up for a field goal attempt, but Al Woods jumped offsides and kept the drive alive. Winston drove the Saints down to the eight-yard line before a sack dropped him back to the 15. Johnson came back out onto the field and kicked the game-deciding 33-yard field goal.