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Game at a glance: Seahawks 34, Saints 7
A recap of the Seahawks’ 34-7 victory over the New Orleans Saints in a “Monday Night Football” game at CenturyLink Field:
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: THE SEAHAWKS’ DEFENSE
From nose tackle Brandon Mebane, who dropped Saints running back Pierre Thomas for a 4-yard loss on the first play of the game. To end Cliff Avril and tackle Michael Bennett, who teamed up for what turned out to be a touchdown as Bennett returned the fumble Avril forced with a sack. To linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, who combined for 17 tackles. To the swarming secondary of cornerbacks Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane and safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. And everyone in between.
“I will say this: The defense, to hold that quarterback, that coach and that team to that kind of a production night, that’s an incredible night for our guys,” coach Pete Carroll said. “The really cool thing is that we didn’t do anything special. We did what we like doing and the way we want to play.”
Brees could only second that notion.
“They are very good. They don’t have any weak links,” Brees said. “They are very good upfront. They are very good in the linebacker position. They are very good in the secondary. They put it all together and they play very well together within their scheme.
“Obviously they play extremely well at home because they can thrive on that crowd noise and typically on offenses’ inability to communicate and the snap count and all those things.
“They deserve a lot of credit.”
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes. He also had three long completions to set up those scoring passes. But let’s go with the one that wasn’t supposed to happen – the 8-yard TD by fullback Derrick Coleman, on a pass that caromed off tight end Kellen Davis.
Whatever it took, it was the first NFL touchdown for Coleman.
“Derrick Coleman made a great catch in there to stay inbounds, the footwork,” Wilson said.
Defense: The TD, of course. It started when Avril got to Brees just as he was trying to pass. The ball popped into the air and into the hands of Bennett. That’s when the former high school running back showed his moves by getting up the right sideline and into the south end zone – for his first NFL touchdown.
“It felt so good,” Bennett said. “It was fun getting my first touchdown. So I feel real good to get out there and do my dance and stuff.”
Special teams: Let’s go accumulative here. There’s Steven Hauschka, who kicked two more field goals and had four more touchbacks on his kickoffs. He’s now 26 of 27 on field goals and has 41 touchbacks. There’s also Jon Ryan, who has had his punts returns for a grand total of 15 yards this season.
Davis left the game in the fourth quarter with what was announced as a possible concussion, but what Carroll called “a neck sprain or something.” Added Carroll, “We’re not sure what it is yet. He’s the only guy that didn’t finish the game; we came out of it very healthy.”
With the Cardinals’ loss to the Eagles on Sunday, the Seahawks’ victory made them the first team to clinch a playoff berth.
The crowd of 68,387 set a CenturyLink Field attendance record, breaking the mark that was set in the home opener this season against the 49ers (68,338).
Wilson’s passer rating of 139.6 was the second highest of his career behind his 151.4 rating in the pre-bye week win over the Vikings.
Wilson’s 22 completions went to nine receivers, led by tight end Zach Miller (five for 86 yards), wide receiver Doug Baldwin (four for 77) and wide receiver Golden Tate (four for 45).
Wilson also was the game’s leading rusher with 47 yards on eight carries.
With a 14-yard run, Marshawn Lynch has 30 runs of 10-plus yards to share the NFL lead with the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson.
The Seahawks are now 7-17 in games following a bye week.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Our crowd was great tonight, as they always are. They were disciplined. They were loud. I heard they broke the record (for loudest crowd cheer). Congratulations to the 12th Man.” – cornerback Richard Sherman