1-10-SEA 30 (13:32) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short right to 87-B.Obomanu ran ob at SEA 42 for 12 yards.
Obo runs a little out past Roman Harper and in front of Jabari Greer. The pass over-leads Obomanu a bit, but the intent seems to be to ensure Harper can not undercut the pattern and tip or intercept the pass. Completions like this enforce the idea that Matt Hasselbeck prefers taller receivers. Obo stretches out his arms and slides to his knees to snatch the ball and stay inbounds. It's not an easy catch. It's not a catch a smaller receiver is likely to make.
1-10-SEA 42 (13:05) 20-J.Forsett up the middle to SEA 48 for 6 yards (96-A.Brown, 42-D.Sharper).
Seahawks set with two-receiver stacks in the left and right flats. That pushes the Saints into a 3-2. Seattle runs an inside zone right. Chris Spencer absolutely tears out the center of the Saints defensive line, moving Sedrick Ellis from the right hashmark to the left, before bowling him over as Ellis attempts to separate. And that with very little help from Mike Gibson, who probably should have fired forward and blocked Jonathan Vilma, but instead stayed alongside Ellis's hip before eventually pulling forward and blocking Vilma.
Forsett takes the hand off and moves into the hole but seems uncertain where to cut. He starts moving right, but Scott Shanle is unblocked at the end of that lane. He then cuts left, but the hole between Gibson and Spencer is closing, with Harper and linebacker Marvin Mitchell at the end. He then runs up behind Gibson, puts a hand on his hip, runs through a Shanle arm tackle but is then tackled by Sean Locklear's assignment: Alex Brown.
It looks like Force should have cut right and attempted to beat Shanle one-on-one with a two way go. Somehow armchair running is even more despicable than armchair quarterbacking.
2-4-SEA 48 (12:23) (Shotgun) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete short left to 15-B.Stokley. PENALTY on NO-41-R.Harper, Defensive Pass Interference, 3 yards, enforced at SEA 48 - No Play.
Seahawks set five wide, then motion Golden Tate from wide right to running back right. Hasselbeck throws towards Stokley. Patrick Robinson runs over and pushes down Stokley in pursuit of the ball. That's a penalty.
On Roman Harper?
1-10-NO 49 (12:17) 24-M.Lynch left tackle to NO 46 for 3 yards (51-J.Vilma).
Seahawks stretch left, and at first glance it looks flawlessly executed. Spencer moves out Remi Ayodele before moving on. Gibson then cuts Ayodele. Locklear cuts Brown on the right. Brown grabs Lynch's ankle, but I think Lynch could have broken free if he had had an open rush lane. The left pushes and stretches, and there's a cut back lane.
There is one problem though, and the Seahawks should be happy it didn't bite them. Gibson cuts Ayodele while he's still partially engaged with Spencer, and that could have been a chop block. Gibson probably should have blocked Vilma, who ends up unblocked and who ends up meeting Lynch in the hole and securing the tackle.
All that said, it's a nice looking cut block by Gibson. His work as a run blocker has been a big part of the improved effectiveness of the Seahawks run game, and I have not noticed any corresponding decline in pass blocking. His decision making isn't flawless, but he moves well, engages defenders in space, and absolutely works his tail off every snap.
[Time out, Seahawks]
2-7-NO 46 (11:38) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass deep left to 88-C.Morrah pushed ob at NO 7 for 39 yards (42-D.Sharper) [91-W.Smith].
This play probably should not have worked.
Seahawks set: WR (left (Cameron Morrah)), 2 WR (right), TE (left), RB
Saints overload the left, sending all three linebackers. Carlson is able to chip Will Smith and string Shanle wide. Forsett moves up and stops Vilma. Smith recovers from Carlson's chip and flies free off left end. He is able to force Hasselbeck into a flat footed lob, before striking him after the pass. The pass, all things considered, is pretty sweet. It arcs high into the sky and rainbows in behind Harper. Morrah is able to run under, receive and run it into the end zone. He's marked out, but it doesn't look like he actually steps out. It looks like he high steps through two tackles and sprints into the end zone.
It was exciting as hell, good considering the outcome and the pressure, but a better defensive back would not have blown coverage so badly, and probably would have been in a better or least equally good position to catch the pass as Morrah. Harper, meanwhile, is badly fooled by Morrah's hitch and go, and doesn't even have the speed to track down Morrah after he's beat. That's pretty dang bad. Morrah outruns him to the football; outruns him to the end zone.
That leads to everyone's favorite trick play that wasn't.
Seahawks set: WR (right), 2 TE (left), I formation. Morrah motions right before the snap.
Seahawks motion stretch right. Carlson cuts Harper. He doesn't lie on the turf. He doesn't play possum. He picks himself up and runs a corner towards the end zone. Harper drops coverage, choosing to spy the quarterback. Mayock described it as an "acting job" and said Carlson "falls down," but neither is true. It's a cut block. He acts only insomuch that it's a play action run, and Carlson sells cut block (does cut block). Harper deserves the Razzie. Dude was awful.
Jo-Lonn Dunbar comes around left end unblocked and pressures Hasselbeck. He flips it to Carlson for the touchdown.
I don't believe in punitive cuts, but I must say, I have never seen one team so undermined by one player.
And I'm a Seahawks fan.