New Orleans scored their first three points of the game on a 22-yard field goal by Will Lutz 3:23 into the second quarter. The Saints added to that total on each of their next five possessions but still needed a last-second stand by their defense to nail down a 25-20 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
This game came down to which team’s dominating unit could come out on top in the end. New Orleans began the day tied with the New England Patriots for seventh in points scored on the season with 22 touchdowns in 68 drives. Lutz had only converted on seven of his 11 field-goal attempts.
For the Seahawks, their defense was tied for first in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings in points allowed with 84 through six games. That’s why Seattle went into the game with a 4-1-1 record despite being tied with the Chicago Bears for last in the league in scoring with just 111 points for the season.
For quite a while in this game, it appeared that the Seahawks’ defense would prevail. Just over six minutes into the game, defensive end Cliff Avril forced a fumble by New Orleans running back Mark Ingram. Safety Earl Thomas picked the ball out of the air and went 32 yards untouched to give Seattle a 7-0 lead.
After Christine Michael punched the ball in from two yards out to give the Seahawks a 16-3 lead, New Orleans went on an extended drive that covered 77 yards and set up the Saints at Seattle’s 10. Brees fired a strike to Brandon Coleman, but he went to the ground one yard short of the sticks when he had a chance to keep pushing for the goal line. Lutz converted the field goal to make the game 14-6.
On New Orleans’ next possession, it appeared the Seahawks were going to lock the door to the end zone after linebacker Nathan Stupar picked off a Russell Wilson pass to set-up the Saints at Seattle’s 37. New Orleans used seven plays to push the ball down to the Seahawks’ one-yard line for a first down with 1:18 left in the half.
Twice, the Saints threw Tim Hightower against Seattle’s defensive front with no effect. On third down, Brees kept the ball and went over the top to break the plane and bring New Orleans within one point of the Seahawks at the half, 14-13.
The score was 17-13 when the Saints worked their way down to another first down at Seattle’s one with 4:42 left in the third quarter. This time the Seahawks held firm. Two runs by Hightower sandwiched around an incomplete pass left New Orleans with fourth down at the three. They were forced to settle for a third Lutz field goal to close the score to 17-16.
Early in the fourth quarter the Saints drove to a first down at Seattle’s 10. This time their offense solved Seattle’s defense and broke through for a touchdown on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Brees to Brandin Cooks to take their first lead of the game, 22-17.
The Seahawks launched a comeback, but their offense’s season-long inability to turn yardage into touchdowns caught up with them. They drove 70 yards to give themselves a first down at New Orleans’ five.
A false start penalty pushed Seattle back to the 10 and they could only get back to the three before a Steven Hauschka field goal made the score 22-20.
It was 25-20 with 1:50 left when the Seahawks took over on their own 32 with no timeouts. Wilson sped his offense down the field, but the Saints took a stand at their own ten-yard line. With two seconds left, Wilson missed Jermaine Kearse and New Orleans had its third victory of the season.
Seattle’s defense bent back further than a limbo champion by surrendering 375 total yards but held the Saints to only two field goals and two touchdowns on four possessions inside the five-yard line. It was the Seahawks’ season-long inability to convert their own opportunities into points that lost them their second game of the season.