Thursday, April 17, 2014

Seahawks rout Saints

SEATTLE—A couple thousand Seahawks’ fans were crowded in front of the television stage when Russell Wilson walked out of the locker-room still in full uniform.
Instantly, the chant started.

“MVP! MVP!”
Hard to argue against Wilson after a performance like last night.
Wilson threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns as the Seahawks became the first team to clinch a spot in the NFC playoffs with a 34-7 victory over the New Orleans Saints.
More important than just wrapping up a spot in the post-season, the Seahawks (11-1) moved two games ahead on the rest of the NFC in the race for home-field advantage and hold the tie-breakers over New Orleans (9-3) and Carolina (9-3)—the two closest pursuers.
The rest of the top teams better get ready to visit the Pacific Northwest in January. After this rout, the road through the NFC playoffs is almost certain to go through Seattle.
Wilson was outstanding, picking apart the Saints’ defence. He threw touchdown passes of two yards to Zach Miller and four yards to Doug Baldwin in the first half as Seattle built a 27-7 lead.
Wilson added a pinball eight-yard TD pass to Derrick Coleman in the third quarter.
Wilson completed 22-of-30 passes and finished with a quarterback rating of 139.6.
He now has 22 regular-season wins in his first two seasons—tied for the most ever by a second-year QB—and is 14-0 at home.
Michael Bennett had a 22-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the first quarter to give Seattle a 10-0 lead and the Saints never threatened.
It was a dominating performance by the Seahawks, making up for a lacklustre effort the last time they were given a national television spotlight and were taken to the final yard and final play by St. Louis.
Not this time. The most anticipated game in the NFC this season was a laugher.
Drew Brees and the Saints were stymied the entire night as he lost for the first time on Monday night after nine-straight wins, and continued the belief New Orleans can’t win outdoors late in the season.
New Orleans didn’t crack 100 yards of total offence into midway through the third quarter.
Jimmy Graham, meanwhile, was nearly invisible outside of his franchise-record 12th TD catch of the season in the second quarter that pulled the Saints to 17-7.
The seven points matched the fewest scored by the Saints since Sean Payton became coach in 2006, and the 188 total yards were the fewest in his coaching tenure.
“Lot of things to look at,” Payton said. “Lot of things we didn’t do well.”
“We took one in the chin today,” Brees admitted. “We got outplayed today.
“They played great. They made a lot of plays and we didn’t.”

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