Up by 8, Seattle just achieved 1st and 10 with 2:40 left in the game at the 31 yard line. New Orleans has 0 timeouts remaining.
New Orleans has 2 options here.
Option 1: Get the stop.
If Seattle runs 3 run plays, that will take close to 2:00 off the clock. Then they kick a field goal, and we all know Hauschka is money within 50 yards (31 yard line = 48 yard field goal, not to mention extra yards picked up from run plays that they couldn't stop all day). That would give New Orleans the ball with 2 scores to make up and only 0:40 to do so. Plus, if Seattle gets a first down, game over.
Option 2: Let Seattle score.
If New Orleans lets Seattle score on this play, they get the ball back in a 2 score game with close to 2:40 to score their two touchdowns.
Lynch rumbles in for a 31 yard touchdown run. The Saints drive for the touchdown, recover the onside kick, and make us all nervous before it's over.
I think Sean Payton / Rob Ryan knew what they were doing: They liked their chances better if they let Seattle score than if they got the stop, so they dialed up a play that would leave Lynch home free once he got around the edge and let him score on purpose.
Sadly, this would mean our offense put in an even poorer showing than the numbers would suggest: of our two touchdowns, one came off a fumble recovery that gave us excellent field position, and one came when the Saints decided to let us score.