Steps Toward Defeat

Chris Clemons beats the snap and puts the Saints in first and five. It's the kind of assist New Orleans does not need. It's the kind of balls out effort that's hard to fault.

1-5-SEA 30 (10:15) 21-J.Jones left tackle to SEA 28 for 2 yards (90-C.Cole).

Julius Jones runs behind his fullback, towards left tackle and at the movable fortress that is Colin Cole and Brandon Mebane. Mebane gets the push. Cole separates from Jahri Evans and makes the tackle.

2-3-SEA 28 (9:39) 25-R.Bush left tackle to SEA 24 for 4 yards (92-B.Mebane).

Saints stretch left. Reggie Bush drifts left and then cuts inside and towards Mebane. Mebane twists and controls Stinchcomb, separating and wrapping Bush before Bush crosses the 25. Bush pushes for the first before Mebane wrenches and tosses him back, short. Forward progress nets the first.

Through some black magic, this is recorded as a four yard gain. It's barely three.

1-10-SEA 24 (9:02) 64-Z.Strief reported in as eligible. 21-J.Jones up the middle to SEA 23 for 1 yard (51-L.Tatupu, 57-D.Hawthorne).

Saints run an inside zone, right. The interior bunches. A crease forms up the middle. Jones barrels forward. Tatupu closes from the right, David Hawthorne closes from in front and the two tackle Jones after a short gain.

2-9-SEA 23 (8:27) 9-D.Brees FUMBLES (Aborted) at SEA 23, recovered by NO-21-J.Jones at SEA 28. 21-J.Jones to SEA 22 for 6 yards (21-K.Jennings).

Brees fumbles the snap!

It rolls. Rolls. Rolls in front of Jones. Jones scoops, bows backwards away from Cole and towards the left sideline. Curry closes. Curry takes a bad angle and loses Jones up the left sideline. Jones lowers his shoulder, strikes and bounces forward over Kelly Jennings. The play nets one yard: fumble loses five; recovery gains six.

On the strength of lucky bounces and superior execution, the Saints are threatening to sprint out to a two score lead.

Seahawks need a stop, desperately.

3-8-SEA 22 (7:50) (Shotgun) 9-D.Brees pass short middle to 25-R.Bush to SEA 12 for 10 yards (29-E.Thomas).

What they get is blown containment and a footrace towards the end zone.

Seahawks rush three. Clemons anticipates screen and breaks pass rush to cover Reggie Bush. Bush flashes a little high-school shake and bake before breaking right. Brock bears down on Brees. Brees flips it to Bush. Bush runs horizontally right, behind his center and towards an expanse of open field. Tatupu has chased Carl Nicks and broke containment. Bush should be gone.

Earl Thomas breaks from the third level, takes a slightly too-shallow angle, and outruns Reggie Bush. He ankle-tackles Bush after nine.

Thomas prevents the touchdown. Bush converts the first.

1-10-SEA 12 (7:13) 21-J.Jones right guard to SEA 5 for 7 yards (57-D.Hawthorne, 99-J.Richardson).

Saints set in a "W" shaped two tight, two wide receiver package. Seahawks stick with their base package, but with Raheem Brock in for Clemons, Craig Terrill in for Mebane and Jay Richardson in for Kentwan Balmer. Saints stretch right and achieve about a yard of push. Brock is turned and neutralized. Center Jonathan Goodwin and right guard Jahri Evans double Terrill, but Terrill holds ground. Evans releases and attempts to block Tatupu, but Tatupu passes Evans like a matador playfully taunting a bull and breaks down to contain the right "A" gap. Aaron Curry runs around left end and is unblocked to Jones. Jones runs into Terrill, slows; Curry slows, contains; Terrill can not wrap. Jones cuts right, sprints away from Terrill, away from Curry and past Colin Cole's outside shoulder.

Tatupu initiates the tackle, burying his shoulder into Jones's ribs. Thomas and the scrum finish him off. Curry slowly picks himself off the turf. Saints ready themselves for second and three from the five.

2-3-SEA 5 (6:34) (Shotgun) 9-D.Brees pass incomplete short right to 16-L.Moore.

Brees rolls right, attempts to draw coverage. The Seahawks stay true. Babineaux and Marcus Trufant protect the right side of the end zone. Tatupu breaks down to pressure and contain Brees. Brees jump kicks the air and zips a scud towards Lance Moore's shoe tops. Moore lunges forward. The pass continues wide and out of the end zone.

3-3-SEA 5 (6:29) (Shotgun) 9-D.Brees pass incomplete short right to 16-L.Moore. PENALTY on SEA-28-W.Thurmond, Defensive Pass Interference, 4 yards, enforced at SEA 5 - No Play.

Saints are split four wide with a two-man bunch in the right slot. Colston cuts in. Moore angles out. The goal is to create separation for Moore, but the Saints fail. Moore runs into Walter Thurmond and curls towards Brees. Thurmond reaches around Moore and plays the ball. Brees zips towards Moore's inside shoulder. He misses, incomplete.

The officials flag Thurmond for pass interference. I assume the penalty is defined as:

(b) Playing through the back of a receiver in an attempt to make a play on the ball.

Mike Mayock calls it a "no win situation." I call it exploiting a technicality.

1-1-SEA 1 (6:25) 9-D.Brees pass short right to 44-H.Evans for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN.

Curry chases play action. Evans is wide open towards the right flat. Evans receives for the touchdown.

Simple as that, the Saints are up 10-0.

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