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Execution Brings Life

Jeremy Bates bested Gregg Williams over and over again, but go ahead and hire Williams, Denver. Not every team in the National Football League can be good.
Jeremy Bates bested Gregg Williams over and over again, but go ahead and hire Williams, Denver. Not every team in the National Football League can be good.

The Saints were ahead 10-0. New Orleans, already favored by 10 points, now stood at 81% win probability. Any rational person would project the Saints to win.

The Saints did not win.

1-10-SEA 43 (6:14) 24-M.Lynch left guard to SEA 49 for 6 yards (96-A.Brown, 58-S.Shanle).

The Saints break in a 4-3 over, with strong safety Roman Harper walked up outside right tackle and eight defenders within five yards.

The Seahawks run a stretch left from an I-formation. Not everything works, but enough works. John Carlson cuts Jo-Lonn Dunbar. Conversely, Sean Locklear turns as if to cut Alex Brown, staggers wildly, eventually falling on his left hip. Mike Gibson cuts Sedrick Ellis. Chris Spencer pulls forward and blocks Jonathan Vilma, but eventually loses that block. Tyler Polumbus and Russell Okung turn Remi Ayodele and Will Smith, respectively. Michael Robinson blocks Scott Shanle.

It's Locklear's missed cut block that comes back to haunt the Seahawks. Vilma and Shanle are walled off, but the opposing "wall"--that which should block out the Saints' defensive left--is caved in by Brown. And it's through Brown that Marshawn Lynch pushes for the final four yards. Lynch turns failure into success.

2-4-SEA 49 (5:42) (Shotgun) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short left to 17-M.Williams pushed ob at NO 41 for 10 yards (34-P.Robinson).

Matt Hasselbeck receives out of shotgun, drops three steps and fires it towards Mike Williams. Williams runs up the left sideline and at Patrick Robinson. Robinson is playing off. He bites deep, but barely. The pass is perfectly timed and placed towards Williams' back shoulder. He receives and turns up field before being forced out after ten.

[Hasselbeck hurries Seattle back to the line.]

1-10-NO 41 (5:24) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short right to 87-B.Obomanu to NO 31 for 10 yards (41-R.Harper). SEA-87-B.Obomanu was injured during the play. His return is Questionable.

Hasselbeck fakes play action, expertly hides the ball in his body, turns right and zips it to Ben Obomanu. Obo receives. Jabari Greer is seven yards off Obo and closing. Obo waits, allows Greer to break down towards his right, uses a hop-step to evade to his left, staggers, spins through Harper and -- still doubled over -- runs up the left sideline. In the final stumble, leap and extend across the first down marker, Ben Obomanu dislocates his shoulder. He would return the following series. Gino Marchetti marvels at Ben's toughness.

1-10-NO 31 (4:59) 24-M.Lynch left tackle to NO 21 for 10 yards (42-D.Sharper, 56-J.Dunbar).

Seahawks stretch left. Carlson and Locklear effectively cut block. Spencer locks down and controls Ayodele. Polumbus fires into the second level and blocks out Vilma. Okung turns and neutralizes Smith. Robinson pulls forward and occupies Shanle. It's flawless execution, except for one assignment. Gibson pulls forward, does not square Dunbar and misses his cut block. Dunbar teams with Darren Sharper to tackle Lynch after seven.  Lynch beasts for another three.

One block from perfection is ohmygod better than earlier this season.

1-10-NO 21 (4:20) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short right to 15-B.Stokley pushed ob at NO 16 for 5 yards (22-T.Porter).

Swing pass to Stokley in the right slot. He evades Porter for an extra two. Simple, elegant and effective.

2-5-NO 16 (4:02) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short middle to 15-B.Stokley to NO 12 for 4 yards (22-T.Porter). PENALTY on NO-41-R.Harper, Defensive Holding, 5 yards, enforced at NO 16 - No Play.

Harper attempts to judo throw Stokley.

1-10-NO 11 (3:43) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short middle to 89-J.Carlson for 11 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Seahawks set single wide left, two tight ends right, I formation right. That's tremendously unbalanced. The Saints respond with a 4-3 over, with Harper and Greer aligned over the tight ends.

Prior to the snap, Cameron Morrah motions in and then resets right.

Seattle fakes play action. It's exceptionally well run, with Hasselbeck sticking his right arm into Lynch's gut while pulling the ball back towards his own gut with his left hand; Morrah crashing left as if to set the edge; Robinson moving into the hole and squaring to block; John Carlson blocking Vilma, pushing him back towards and into Harper, then passing him to Robinson; Hasselbeck reading left; Hasselbeck looking back right and finding Carlson wide open behind Harper for the touchdown.

It's exceptionally well run.