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Winners and Losers from Saints 13 Seahawks 10

New Orleans Saints v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

I am a worse human being for having sat through three hours of that trash-tier football.

That’s it. That’s the intro paragraph. Here’s Winners and Losers and then I’m watching my other favorite team, the Portland Trail Blazers, who are also owned by Vulcan Inc and are probably a season similar to this year’s Seattle Seahawks away from having the exact same daunting offseason ahead of them. Actually check that, the Blazers are getting stuffed by the Clippers like normal. I’m tired of losing to Los Angeles teams every year.

Winners

DK Metcalf

It ain’t his fault that he only had 2 catches given the performance of his quarterback. But one of his catches was a career-long 84-yard touchdown, beating Marshon Lattimore who is widely praised as one of the league’s top corners. This comes two weeks after beating Jalen Ramsey for a TD, and Ramsey is considered #1 at his position. DK does more cool things than silly things. He also drew two personal fouls on Lattimore, proving shithousery can be a great form of offense.

Run Defense

Alvin Kamara did whatever he wanted in the passing game, but the run defense was outstanding. Kamara had just 51 yards on 20 carries and just one run of 10+ yards (although it was an important one). They were consistently great all night, especially Poona Ford and Kerry Hyder Jr.

Rasheem Green

One of his best games as a Seahawk? I mean it’s a low bar but not impossible. He had a couple of quarterback hits, good run stuffs and a sack of Jameis Winston. That was the Rasheem we’ve been waiting to see for a good while.

Jamal Adams

Adams had a pass defensed and to me had another one by at least closing in quickly on Kevin White on what would otherwise have been a big 3rd down deep shot behind Sidney Jones. He was also a factor in the run game and was generally solid.

Ugo Amadi

Had the game’s only turnover on the forced fumble. I’m still hopeful that Amadi can be a more valuable part of the Seahawks secondary.

Jordyn Brooks

Biting on a pump fake way beyond the line of scrimmage aside, Brooks played well. He had a pass deflection in the end zone to turn potential 7 into 3 points, a fumble recovery, and there was a punishing hit he had on Alvin Kamara on a 3rd down run that looked Bobby Wagner-esque. Brooks has had an up-and-down year so that was definitely a thumbs up performance.

Marshawn Lynch

Legend.

Losers

Geno Smith

That’s the bad Geno I expected to see. He was dismal. The 12/22 for 169 yards and a TD is kind to him. There are at least two dropped interceptions I can think of and many, many bad sacks he took. He might be a backup now but he was drafted to be a starter. And quite predictably he was deer in the headlights when his first read wasn’t open. That was a standard of quarterback play that wasn’t even in Seneca Wallace’s class. I think he called four timeouts because he was slow to diagnose coverages and get the play off in time. Brutal.

Jason Myers

I fully understand conditions are not kicker friendly. He has not been good enough this season. Two misses on three tries gives him just 6 makes on 10 field goal attempts, which absolutely sucks. This is the Blair Walsh redux he’s producing at the moment.

Marquise Blair

Let me start by saying that his knee injury appears to be “significant” and that is extremely unfortunate for him. That sucks for him and hopefully it’s not as serious as Pete Carroll said it could be.

As far as his actual play, his roughing the passer was terrible. You cannot debate that being a penalty. He launched and led with his head and hit Winston in the head. Penalty, 15 yards, first down. We’d be screaming if that was Russell Wilson hit the same way. He was also caught out on a blitz and by getting blocked out, Alvin Kamara had a critical 3rd and 10 conversion on a run.

I just don’t see it with Blair. There has to be something to the fact that the Seahawks did anything they could not to play him at safety as a rookie, and the limited action in 2021 has been more frustrating than good. And perhaps it might be time to re-examine the quality of the 2019 class, but I’ll save that for another day. Yet another microcosm of the poor discipline of Seattle as a team.

Al Woods

What a dumb penalty to commit. The offsides is inexcusable and if you recall the 2019 game, Woods committed an illegal formation penalty on a missed field goal that led to a first down. Instead of being down 20-7 with the ball back, the Saints scored a touchdown and Seattle never recovered. His penalty tonight led to a shorter field goal and the game-winning points.

Ryan Neal (post-publish edit thanks to Frank T. Raines for jogging my memory)

I love Ryan but he was awful on the Saints’ only touchdown drive. Alvin Kamara torched him for New Orleans’ longest play from scrimmage and then Neal missed a tackle on Kamara’s TD. That was rough.

Jamarco Jones and Kyle Fuller

Without question, the two worst offensive linemen all game. Jones is just not an NFL starter and his versatility as both guard and tackle has to be the only reason he holds down a roster spot. And he’s not good at either. Fuller was a turnstile and responsible for multiple pressures and at least one sack. The run-blocking as a whole was poor and uh... yeah those two were part of the problem.

The refs

They’re clearly not the reason the Seahawks lost but New Orleans’ first scoring drive was farcical. D.J. Reed flagged for a questionable pass interference, fine. But missing this false start on 4th and inches is absurd.

Alex Collins and Rashaad Penny

There weren’t too many quality opportunities to run against the Saints defense, but man oh man that was painful. Collins’ vision fails him too often in short yardage, and that was evident on the game’s opening series. Penny looked rusty and ineffective and had 9 yards on 6 carries.

Seattle has five running backs on the depth chart and somehow, someway, they may need a starting running back in 2022. I don’t think anyone on the roster right now fits the bill for various reasons.

Pete Carroll

He’s not a loser because the Seahawks can’t win games without Russell Wilson. Most teams are screwed if they have to rely on the backup. He’s not a loser because he trusts his kicker and punter over his offense — there wasn’t much reason to trust this offense on 4th down situations.

Carroll is a loser because this team looks poorly coached and has looked poorly coached almost all year. The penalties they take, the clock management failures, the coverage busts, the poor tackling, the poor blocking, it all piles up. And above all else, this is not a good roster. I can go off on John Schneider’s involvement on this another time, but Carroll obviously is more than just the head coach. He’s the President of Football Operations. This does not look like a team that can operate much of anything and I struggle to see how this team would be able to contend even with a healthy Russell Wilson.

Pete built a team that has been a perennial playoff side for years, which only a handful of teams have managed in the salary cap era. They won the Super Bowl and were close to winning a second. And perhaps that’s why the Carroll vitriol is a little stronger than it really should be. Getting two Super Bowls out of that golden generation of players feels a lot different than one, which in itself is hard but Seattle had “dynasty” talk written for them after XLVIII. But it didn’t happen. And they still fielded competitive teams but with each season they have drifted further out from true contention. At the moment they might have the worst roster in the NFC West after having far and away the best for several years.

The foundation is crumbling and for anyone who believes that Wilson has papered over the cracks for, say, the last 4-5 seasons, you are vindicated. Missing the playoffs felt like a possibility even before Wilson’s finger got crushed, and now it’s a near formality already.

There’s no better coach in Seahawks history than Carroll. He quickly took a franchise that was plunging into darkness and made them winners at a level unlike previous eras of Seahawks football. I don’t want to remember Carroll in a negative way, but I can’t see things getting better from here. I’m sensing too much 2008 out of the 2021 Seahawks, and at least then we knew Mike Holmgren was planning to leave.

Final Notes

  • I am largely pleased with the defensive performance but they still take forever to adjust to screen passes and that was almost the entire Saints passing attack. The one caveat I have is that I think both New Orleans and Pittsburgh have mediocre offenses at best. In the Saints’ case they were missing Michael Thomas and Taysom Hill, but we’ve been here before with this defense looking “fixed” because the competition got easier.
  • Shane Waldron constantly running it on 1st down felt like Pete Carroll’s demand... but really he’s damned either way. Do you want to pass it more with a bad quarterback? If you can fault Waldron for anything it’s that it doesn’t look like anything has been schemed up to make Geno’s passing downs easier.
  • I’m at the point where I fully expect a loss to Jacksonville. They are a lot closer to being at Jacksonville’s level than they are to being a viable Super Bowl contender again.