Jon Stinchcomb's overlayed mug announces "Jon Stinchcomb, University of Georgia." Obscured by his floating head is Jeremy Shockey, about to release into a short out-breaking route. Drew Brees targets. Shockey receives. David Hawthorne is on him to limit the reception to five yards.
The game has begun. The Saints are nearing midfield. Sometimes all's well that ends well, but damn if it didn't feel that way.
2-5-NO 45 (14:28) 9-D.Brees pass short left to 25-R.Bush to SEA 49 for 6 yards (21-K.Jennings; 27-J.Babineaux).
The Saints force Seattle into nickel personnel. Brees drops, fakes hand off to Reggie Bush and begins rolling right. Chris Clemons forces back and separates from Jermon Bushrod. Brees breaks off his roll, shifts left and tosses it to Bush running a swing into the left flat. Kelly Jennings breaks from a short zone and contains the outside. Jordan Babineaux breaks coverage of Marques Colston and closes from the inside. The two close and bracket tackle Bush after six and the first.
The Saints are in Seahawks territory.
1-10-SEA 49 (13:54) 25-R.Bush right tackle to SEA 46 for 3 yards (92-B.Mebane).
Brandon Mebane bursts off the snap and forces Jahri Evans back and to the right. To his right, Colin Cole and Kentwan Balmer have ceded push. Bush runs towards and through the right "A" gap. Mebane extends his right arm and hooks Bush. Cole and Lofa Tatupu finish the tackle.
It's second and eight, and the Seahawks sub in Raheem Brock for Kentwan Balmer.
2-7-SEA 46 (13:17) 64-Z.Strief reported in as eligible. 9-D.Brees pass deep left to 12-M.Colston to SEA 16 for 30 yards (36-L.Milloy).
Seahawks blitz five into the teeth of seven blockers. Babineaux attacks the blind side edge but attracts a Bushrod-Julius Jones double team. Will Herring attacks the front side and draws tight end (playing fullback) David Thomas. Pressure is neutralized. Brees steps up and fires towards Colston.
Earl Thomas passes Devery Henderson to Lawyer Milloy and attempts to reset underneath Colston. He's a beat too late. The pass zips over his attempted tip and to Colston. Colston loses Jennings with a simple hook pattern, turns and receives. He redirects clockwise, slips Jennings' tackle attempt, stumbles into a three point but recovers and runs towards the end zone. Milloy catches him at the sixteen. The reception gains 17. The broken tackle adds another 13.
1-10-SEA 16 (12:30) 9-D.Brees pass incomplete deep right to 12-M.Colston.
Henderson motions from wide left to wide right. That puts Colston in the slot and Thomas on Colston. Colston slow plays the approach, nears Thomas and breaks into a full stride. He passes Thomas, beats Tru and angles away from Milloy. Three Seahawks surround Colston. Colston has them all beat. The pass descends, Colston stabs his right arm at it but it deflects off his fingertips incomplete.
Colston subs out.
2-10-SEA 16 (12:25) 9-D.Brees pass short middle to 21-J.Jones pushed ob at SEA 8 for 8 yards (23-M.Trufant).
Brees receives and fakes to Jones. Jones moves forward, chips Clemons and releases towards the right flat. Clemons beats Stinchcomb, pressures Brees, but Brees finds Jones running a screen. Evans is out front, in position. Center Jonathan Goodwin and right guard Carl Nicks are late and do not factor. Evans attempts to cut Aaron Curry, but Curry anticipates, sheds and--stumbling against his open momentum--redirects towards Jones and forces Jones towards the right sideline. Curry lunges. Jones evades. Trufant finishes the tackle.
For the Seahawks, this is a screen pass successfully survived.
3-2-SEA 8 (11:54) 9-D.Brees pass incomplete short left to 25-R.Bush.
Brees looks right. Pulls down. Looks center, sees Bush running a curl from out of the back field, and cocks. Brock and Bane extend their arms. Brees pulls down. Clemons loops wide from around left end to behind Brees and separates. Brees scrambles left. Bush shadows. Bush outruns Tatupu and Babineuax and is clear up the left sideline for the score. Brees lobs to Bush. The ball hits Bush in the chest, deflects into outstretched hands and tumbles incomplete.
Thomas supplies the footsteps. Bush supplies the panic. Saints settle for three.