Tim Hightower, Saints running game overpower the Seahawks

Laura Christensen
November 1, 2016

Tim Hightower rushed for 102 yards on 26 carries against the Seattle Seahawks stingy run defense, and the team had 35 total rushing attempts for 123 yards.

Micro-analyzing the blown pass-interference calls in which Willie Snead clearly took Jeremy Lane out of both plays, the Saints got a touchdown instead of a field goal, and a first down and eventually a field goal instead of what probably would have turned into a punt.

Seattle's defense also forced a field goal in the third quarter after the Saints had a first-and-goal on the 1. "The key is winning".

Seattle is 4-2-1 and still in good shape in the NFC West, but the Seahawks host the Bills next Monday, then travel to New England for a Sunday night game.

Mostly, though, New Orleans' offence controlled play. On the game's final play, Seattle's Jermaine Kearse caught the ball but landed out of bounds.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson lofted the final pass high into the air, hoping Kearse would beat Saints' journeyman cornerback B.W. Webb in single coverage. "There have been a couple games this year where the officials are like that and usually when it is like that, I mean even at home we rarely get calls but they don't tear us apart".

"The last drive was a testament to our resilience", Wilson said.

But before the Saints and their fans can worry about the 49ers, it's time to take a look back as we do every week; at this past week's "winners and losers" for the Saints from their most recent game. But it was effective. The play came after a 28 yard run by Hightower on the second play of the fourth quarter. The Saints held the ball for 36:12.

"We went into the game knowing that they are a team that gets a lot of penalties, and we were really kind of in the same boat", Carroll said.

"I struggled", Luck said. 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.

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So did the defense, with two seconds remaining Seattle was at the Saints 10 yard line. Neither team came close to their average Sunday: The Seahawks were penalized 11 times (for 76 yards), while the Saints were only penalized twice (for 10 yards). "So it's way better - we're thinking long-term and way down the road and this is the best thing".

We should have known from that point that the Seahawks were going to have trouble keeping the officiating crew happy. "We were faced with some adversity - sometimes it was fabricated - but we kept working and gave ourselves a chance to pull it out at the end".

Brees scored a 1-yard touchdown on a dive play to cut the Seahawks lead to 14-13 right before half. Earl Thomas returned a Mark Ingram fumble 43 yards for a TD.

A trick play set up Seattle's second score.

Other than that, it was the same two-for-three field goal production of the previous week against Arizona, only the Saints' defense was nowhere near the caliber of the Cardinals' defense. That set up Christine Michael's' short TD run, making it 14-3.

Sunday also marked the second straight week the Saints had over 100 yards on the ground as a team, and it was the third 100-yard team rushing performance of the season.

Sean Payton also confided in Ingram by saying that he will bounce back, and is tough and thick-skinned. The Saints had exactly two, and one was a late and fairly meaningless infraction.

"Sometimes those things happen and I know he's going to bounce back", Brees said of Ingram. I think it is.

GRAHAM'S RETURN: Jimmy Graham was silent about his return to the place where his National Football League career started, avoiding media all week.

Other reports by My Hot News

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