The luster that was once the Seahawks seemingly untouchable ability to lose at Qwest Field is gone, leaving the NFC West one wide-open division six weeks into the season. The Hawks season took another strange twist on Sunday night, as they fell 28-17 to the previously winless New Orleans Saints. Seattle fell behind 21-0, and then after scoring to get within 21-7, allowed a touchdown with 0:30 left in the half to fall behind 28-7. They did get a long 52-yard field goal from Josh Brown to cut it to 28-10 on the last play of the first half, but the damage was done, and the Hawks would have no comeback magic on this night.
The issues remain on Seattle’s offense, and they were exploited by a Saints defense that has had issues of its own this whole season. New Orleans stuffed the running game of the Hawks, led by Shaun Alexander, who ran for just 40 yards on 14 carries, a sick 2.5 per carry average. Take away a 37-yard run by back Leonard Weaver, and Seattle ran for just 55 yards on 20 carries, an average of 2.7 yards per carry. Not what one would come to expect for a team that stated all week they would get the running game back to up to snuff.
There were plenty of other areas of concern for the Hawks, including a bad snap on a punt that led to a Saints score when Pierre Thomas picked up the loose ball and took it in for a score. Seattle allowed New Orleans to convert 7-of-14 third downs, and Reggie Bush, who finally looked like a star in the making, rushed for 97 yards on the ground and pulled in six catches for 44 yards. His play kept the Hawks on their toes all night.
“We’ve got a lot we can correct, and that’s what we’ve got to do,” QB Matt Hasselbeck said after the Hawks poorest home outing in a long time. Hasselbeck threw for 362 yards, but most of it came as the team was trying to get back in the game after falling behind so early. For the Saints, it looked more like 2006 than the early part of this season, in which after four games they looked more like the Aint’s again, and not the high powered Saints of a year ago.
For now, the Hawks and Arizona Cardinals, who also laid a home egg to the Vinny Testaverde led Carolina Panthers, sit at 3-3. with a division with the Rams, who are now 0-6, and 49’ers, who can’t put up points or yards on offense, this division may very well come down to winning 8-9 games.