The New Orleans Saints knocked off the Seattle Seahawks by a 34-19 score Sunday afternoon in the Superdome.
QB Drew Brees had his best performance of the season by completing 29 of 43 passes for 382 yards and four touchdowns. Brees connected with both WRs Marques Colston and Robert Meachem twice.
With 29 completions, it puts Brees' career total as a Saint at 1,862, which is a new franchise record. Brees passed former Saints QB Archie Manning who completed 1,849 passing during his career.
RB Chris Ivory had a strong showing with 99 yards on 23 carries, including his first career touchdown.
Colston led all receivers with game highs of eight receptions and 113 yards. TE Jimmy Graham had a solid outing with five receptions for 72 yards.
The Saints totaled 494 net yards as opposed to Seattle's 424.
The defense did their part by forcing three turnovers (two fumbles, one interception). LB Scott Shanle registered a game-high 12 tackles, forced fumble and fumble recovery.
Seattle won the coin toss and elected to receive. P Thomas Morstead kicked off into the end zone and Seahawks RB Leon Washington returned the ball to the 21. The New Orleans defense would immediately force the Seahawks out on a three and out. Moore fair caught the punt at the Saints 37.
Brees' first play was an outlet pass to FB Heath Evans. Following a delay of game penalty on fourth-and-one from the 46, Morstead came out and punted the ball to the Seahawks 18, where Washington called a fair catch.
On the first down play, Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch rushed for six yards up the middle before he was taken down by DE Alex Brown. On second and four, Lynch would not experience as much success as he was tackled by Brown for a loss of two. The Seahawks would snare a first down though, when Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck completed a pass for an eight yard gain to WR Deon Butler. On the first down play though, Seahawks RB Justin Forsett was taken back for an eight-yard loss by DL Anthony Hargrove on a failed flea flicker attempt. The resilient Seahawks struck back though as Hasselbeck then completed a 68-yard pass play to WR Mike Williams to the New Orleans 10. With a fresh set of downs inside the ten, Lynch rushed for a two-yard gain before being stopped by LB Danny Clark. On second down, Hasselbeck completed a six-yard pass to TE John Carlson before he was stopped by LB Scott Shanle. On third and two, Hasselbeck attempted a pass into the end zone that was deflected by S Usama Young. Seahawks K Olindo Mare then made a 19-yard field goal.
Following a touchback by Mare, Ivory carried for a five-yard gain. Brees would subsequently get to near midfield following passes for first downs to TE David Thomas and Moore. After a pass to Jones for a five-yard gain, Meachem got the first down with an eight-yard gain on an end around play. With the downs fresh, Brees completed a pass for a four-yard gain to Colston. Ivory then moved up to the 29-yard line to set up a third-and-one. On that play, Brees handed off to Ivory again and he broke through a couple defenders at the line of scrimmage to eventually move up to the five-yard line on a 24-yard gain. With a fresh set of downs, the Saints line carried Ivory to the one-yard line, setting up a dive into the end zone for his first career touchdown to give New Orleans the lead.
The Seahawks would quickly get back into Saints territory though on a 42-yard pass play from Hasselbeck to WR Ben Obamanu. On first down at the 28, Lynch was held to a three-yard gain and then Hasselbeck failed to connect on a screen. On third and seven, the last play of the first quarter, Hasselbeck's pass intended for Williams sailed out of bounds near the end zone, forcing Mare back onto the field, where he drilled a 43-yard field goal to cut New Orleans' lead to 7-6.
The Saints started at the 20, following an incomplete pass, Ivory gained seven yards to the 27. On third and three, Ivory managed contact for a couple Seattle defenders and gained nine yards for a first down. With a fresh set of downs, Jones was tagged for a loss of three yards. Following an incomplete pass on second down, Brees found Colston in the middle of the field for a 15-yard gain, moving the chains. He then completed a pass for a 14-yard gain to Thomas to move into Seahawks territory at the 39. Brees then threw a ball to Meachem that he snared down, and beat a couple defenders for a 15-yard gain and the first down. On second and nine, Brees found Colston within two yards of the end zone. The tall target did the rest by getting his body in for the touchdown to give the Saints an eight point lead.
After Morstead's kickoff reached the end zone, Hasselbeck's first pass of the second quarter was nearly picked off by Young. A second down screen pass intended for Lynch was dropped by the running back. On third and ten, Hasselbeck's throw sailed out of bounds, bringing Seattle P Jon Ryan to the field. Moore called for a fair catch and Seahawks CB Roy Lewis ran into him, resulting in a 15-yard interference call that would start the Saints at the Seahawks 42-yard line.
Ivory carried for a six-yard gain on the first play of New Orleans' drive, followed by a pass to TE Jimmy Graham that got the first down and gained eight yards up to the 28. Brees then went vertical and nearly found Graham in the end zone, where the ball was tipped by Seattle CB Walter Thurmond. On second down, Brees completed a screen pass to Moore for no gain. On third down though, he found an open Colston at the 12-yard line, which set up a 16-yard gain and a fresh set of downs. Jones then brought the Saints inside the ten on a five yard run. On the second down play, G Carl Nicks was called for a holding penalty which would bring the ball back to the 17. Under pressure, Brees found Colston for a 14-yard gain though to set up a third-and-one play where he went back to Meachem for the touchdown and 15 point lead.
The Seahawks would take the ball back at the 31 and would get a first down on a second down completion from Hasselbeck to Williams and an 11-yard throw to Obamanu. Following a second down incompletion from the Saints 44, a screen to Williams was snuffed out for only a three-yard gain with a tackle by CB Tracy Porter. At third and seven, Hasselbeck found Williams for a 15-yard gain. The signal caller then converted another first down with throws to Williams and WR Brandon Stokley. A first and ten at the 11, he completed a pass to Stokley to the three. On a handoff to Forsett, he was only able to manage a yard, before he was stopped by DT Sedrick Ellis. With third and one from the two, Hasselbeck completed the two-yard scoring pass to an open Obamanu.
Roby took the kickoff out of the end zone to the 25, and Brees immediately dumped off a screen to RB Ladell Betts who got out of bounds, gaining seven yards. Brees' second down pass was ruled incomplete. At third-and-three, Brees' throw was dropped by Colston, but Seattle was called with a roughing the passer, personal foul penalty to move the Saints up to the 48. New Orleans then got into Seattle territory on a 25-yard completion to Betts. On a fresh set of downs, he found Moore in the middle of the field for a five-yard gain, before he a wide-open Colston caught his second TD grab of the day to up the Saints lead up to 27-13. QB Chase Daniel tried to run a fake on a two-point conversion attempt, but he was tackled right before the plane of the end zone, which was confirmed by a booth review.
Seattle was able to move into New Orleans territory to their 25, despite being set back by a couple of penalties, where Mare's 43-yard field goal attempt sailed through the uprights to move the score to 27-16 at halftime.
New Orleans got the ball coming out the second half and on a third down play, Brees completed a 19-yard pass to Graham for a first down. Ivory then moved the Saints into Seattle territory with a five yard run. Brees followed by completing a 17-yard pass to WR Devery Henderson. Brees then found Meachem in the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown.
The Seahawks started at the 26 and Hasselbeck completed a nine-yard pass to Obamanu. Lynch then carried into New Orleans territory, but S Roman Harper forced him to cough up the ball and he recovered it to give New Orleans the ball back at the Saints 48.
With the ball back, WR Devery Henderson carried on an end around for a one-yard gain. New Orleans would then convert the first down on a nine-yard throw from Brees to Graham. Ivory was then stopped for a loss of four yards. Facing second and 14, Brees and Graham connected for another first down on a crossing route that brought the Saints to the 19-yard line. Following an incomplete pass in the end zone, intended for Thomas, Ivory barreled forward for a gain of eight. Brees then handed off to Ivory on third and two and he gained four yards. After a missed connection on first and goal from the seven, Ivory gained three yards and Brees was intercepted by Seahawks LB David Hawthorne at the goal line on third down.
On first down from their own five, Hasselbeck completed a pass to Lynch for a gain of four yards before he was brought down by Clark. On second down, Seattle rookie T Russell Okung was called for a false start, pinning them back at the five-yard line. With second and ten, Hasselbeck completed a throw to Williams for a ten-yard gain. On first down, a throw to Lynch for five yards before he was forced out of bounds by Young then led to a rush where he carried a group of New Orleans defenders to gain six yards for the first down. Hasselbeck then had another intermediate completion to Lynch for an eight-yard gain before he was brought down by Brown. Forsett then converted the first down before he was taken down by DE Will Smith for a five-yard gain. Hasselbeck then found Forsett on an outlet pass for a nine-yard gain. On second down, Forsett was tackled by Harper and DT Remi Ayodele for a loss of one yard to set up third and two. Hasselbeck eluded Smith behind the line of scrimmage and converted the first down on a throw to Carlson. Now in New Orleans territory at their 46-yard line, Hasselbeck completed a throw to Lynch, but he had his second fumble of the quarter as Shanle stripped the ball and recovered it.
Starting at the 44, Ivory carried for a four-yard gain. On the final play of the third quarter, Brees completed a throw to Graham for a gain of nine yards and the first down. On a third down play, New Orleans moved into the red zone as Moore erupted from a relatively quiet day for a 29-yard gain on a pass play to the 14. After Ivory carried for no gain on first down, Brees found Colston and he stretched out for a five-yard gain. After a third down pass went just out of Colston's reach, the field goal unit came out and K Garrett Hartley missed a 27-yard attempt, hitting the left upright.
Seattle moved up the field on a combination of short passes and runs to inside the ten-yard line. On first and goal, Hasselbeck completed a three-yard pass to Forsett. Forsett then carried and was stopped after gaining two yards. On third and one, Forsett was stopped for a one-yard loss by Hargrove and LB Jonathan Vilma. On fourth and goal, Mare booted a field goal for the game's final score.