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The Next Four Drives

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The Saints and Seahawks had traded haymakers like a Rocky flick. Boom! Boom! What terrible, insulting to the sport of boxing, fight action!

Much of the rest of the second quarter was more like a period of expository dialogue. Let's get through it quickly.

1-10-NO 19 (10:55) 9-D.Brees pass incomplete short left to 21-J.Jones (57-D.Hawthorne).

Saints run a play-action left, roll right. Chris Clemons works around right end but is shadowed and blocked out by David Thomas. Drew Brees looks left, targets Julius Jones and passes. David Hawthorne undercuts the route and almost intercepts the pass.

2-10-NO 19 (10:48) PENALTY on NO-77-C.Nicks, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at NO 19 - No Play.

2-15-NO 14 (10:48) 21-J.Jones up the middle to NO 17 for 3 yards (29-E.Thomas).

Colin Cole and Brandon Mebane hold ground. Lofa Tatupu drives David Thomas back into Jones. Earl Thomas closes from the third level to pop Jones after three.

3-12-NO 17 (10:13) (Shotgun) 9-D.Brees pass incomplete short middle to 12-M.Colston.

Seahawks rush three. Clemons pressures from around left end. Brees steps forward and fires at Colston, but the pass is low and wide-left.

The Seahawks do a good job of anticipating Colston out of the slot, assigning him Thomas and Lofa Tatupu, but it's the pressure that forces the incomplete pass.

(Punt)

1-10-SEA 38 (9:55) 20-J.Forsett right tackle to SEA 44 for 6 yards (51-J.Vilma, 91-W.Smith).

John Carlson fails his cut block attempt on Will Smith and Smith tracks down Justin Forsett after a gain of six. Force is caught cutting opposite the stretch right. It's a nifty little run with good push and a quality cut back lane. As for Carlson, remember when he missed just about every block? In all the hubbub about his diminished production in the passing game, his improved ability to block has been ignored.

Blocking matters! Football is not found in a box score!!

2-4-SEA 44 (9:18) (Shotgun) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete short left to 20-J.Forsett.

Hasselbeck motions into shotgun. Sedrick Ellis bullies Tyler Polumbus back and towards Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck looks to outlet on the left but sees that Will Smith is running stride for stride with Forsett. He throws it away.

3-4-SEA 44 (9:13) (Shotgun) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete short right to 17-M.Williams.

Hasselbeck gets nervous feet, double clutches and throws the pass away over the head of Mike Williams. Seahawks commit seven blockers. Both wideouts are blanketed and slot receiver Brandon Stokley is double covered. It's a good decision. Especially since Hasselbeck probably shouldn't scramble.

(Punt)

1-10-NO 19 (9:01) 21-J.Jones left guard to NO 20 for 1 yard (98-R.Brock). FUMBLES (98-R.Brock), RECOVERED by SEA-57-D.Hawthorne at NO 18. 57-D.Hawthorne to NO 18 for no gain (21-J.Jones).

The fumble is pretty straight forward: Saints run an inside zone. It's completely mangled. Ugly, ugly play. Tatupu and Clemons get penetration but miss. Cole is out of position. Craig Terrill is being forced back.

Raheem Brock is matched against Jeremy Shockey. Shockey begins a halfhearted block and then drops it. All the disruption has slowed this play and Jones is still puttering around in the backfield. Brock cuts in and slaps the ball away, forcing the fumble.

It's cool that Brock and Clemons manned opposite ends against first and 10, and it's cooler still that the Saints ran the ball and Seattle's strongside-end free defensive line was able to contain and force a fumble. More of this. More Clemons and Brock.

Jeremy Shockey: bane to every team that plays him.

1-10-NO 18 (8:50) 24-M.Lynch right end to NO 12 for 6 yards (56-J.Dunbar, 98-S.Ellis)

Inside zone right: Sean Locklear drives back Jeff Charleston and Marshawn Lynch runs between Michael Robinson and Locklear. It's a pretty good rush lane, and Lynch looks surprisingly explosive entering and running through it. Polumbus loses Ellis and Ellis is able to run across the field and initiate the tackle on Lynch. The scrum finishes him off.

2-4-NO 12 (8:08) 24-M.Lynch right end to NO 10 for 2 yards (97-J.Charleston, 22-T.Porter).

Stretch right. A potential cutback left is spoiled when Polumbus can not cut Remi Ayodele. Lynch plows forward towards the pile and gains two.

3-2-NO 10 (7:44) 24-M.Lynch up the middle to NO 10 for no gain (41-R.Harper).

Seahawks attempt to run an inside zone but do not account for Roman Harper. He blitzes off right end and wraps Lynch in the back field.

4-2-NO 10 (7:07) 10-O.Mare 29 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-49-C.Gresham, Holder-9-J.Ryan.

Seahawks tie the Saints 17-17.