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Andy Dalton gets the start, Michael Thomas out for Saints vs. Seahawks

Oh no, not the backup!

Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints Photo by Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Last week, the Seattle Seahawks gave up 45 points and over 500 yards of offense to a Detroit Lions team that was missing D’Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown, D.J. Chark, and Jonah Jackson. This week, the Seahawks defense will be facing a New Orleans Saints team that won’t have starting quarterback Jameis Winston or star wide receiver Michael Thomas.

Also notably out is the wonderfully named guard Calvin Throckmorton, so the Saints are down an offensive lineman. Safety P.J. Williams is also ruled out with a quad injury so the defense is missing a veterean player in the secondary.

Seahawks fans don’t like hearing a backup quarterback getting the start because... well... the history has been complicated. Even during the Legion of Boom days they lost games to the Rams when Austin Davis and Case Keenum were starting, and in more recent times suffered a horrific loss to the Nick Foles-led Chicago Bears and twice to the Colt McCoy-led Giants and Cardinals. I’m sure there are more but I don’t want to remember them.

Dalton isn’t an ordinary backup, of course. The former Cincinnati Bengals starter and three-time Pro Bowl selection has played Seattle three times before, winning as a rookie in 2011, then in a famous comeback in 2015, and losing on opening day 2019 but throwing for over 400 yards. Against the Minnesota Vikings, Dalton went 20/28 for 236 yards and a touchdown, and frankly he looked better than the hobbled Winston has at just about any points this season.

As for Thomas, his injury problems continue but New Orleans does have Ohio State rookie Chris Olave, who leads the team in receptions (21) and yards (335).

Running back Alvin Kamara missed last week’s Vikings game but should be back this week despite the questionable designation. Hopefully the Seahawks are bothered to stop him when they haven’t done so the previous two times.