The New Orleans Saints finished Week 7 of NFL action with a hard-fought 13-10 road win against the Seattle Seahawks.
New Orleans is now 4-2 heading into a Halloween showdown against the 6-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Seattle drops to 2-5 and is unlikely to push for a playoff berth without injured QB Russell Wilson.
The Saints got off to an inauspicious start. In the third series, Seahawks WR D.K. Metcalf caught a pass over a fallen (pushed) Marshon Lattimore and took it 84-yards for a touchdown.
After that play, the Saints' defense took over the game. Geno Smith was sacked five times and held only to 83 passing yards on 11 completions outside of Metcalf's score.
Seattle tried to bully the Saints, one of the most physical teams in the league, with trash talk and shoves after the whistle. New Orleans lost composure early and were flagged for four personal foul penalties in the game. However, veteran leadership eventually prevailed, and the Saints beat up the Seahawks between the whistles.
The Saints' wideouts and tight ends were awful again, besides a few nice plays from WR Marquez Callaway.
THE SAINTS HAD GUSTY PERFORMANCES
QB Jameis Winston played a gutsy game, despite some off-target throws. His stat line (19 of 35 for 222 yards and a touchdown) would have been better if not for some drops and poorly run routes by his wideouts. Winston rushed for five first downs and scrambled away from pressure to make nice throws on three scoring drives.
Along with coordinator Dennis Allen, the entire New Orleans defense deserves honorable mention for a game ball. They held Seattle to only 219 total yards, 3.2 yards per rush, and 3 for 13 on third or fourth down attempts.
The Saints' defensive tackles got a nice push against the run and broke down pass protection. The edge rushers Cam Jordan, Tanoh Kpassagnon, and Marcus Davenport were disruptive all evening. They combined for 2 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, 3 QB hits, and several other pressures or hurries.
Cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore, Paulson Adebo, and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson met the physical challenge of Seattle wideouts Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. The two Seahawks stars were held to only 3 catches on seven targets for a paltry 24 yards outside of the long touchdown.
Let's not overlook another outstanding outing from P Blake Gillikin, who averaged nearly 48 yards per kick. Of Gillikin's six punts, four pinned Seattle inside their 20-yard line.
In his first game with the team, Rookie K Brian Johnson converted two crucial field goals and an extra point in poor weather conditions.
This game was an old-fashioned slugfest that took a team effort from the Saints. While the players mentioned above certainly earned recognition, two stars stood above all others with monster performances.
ALVIN KAMARA, RUNNING BACK
Kamara again carried a lethargic offense. He accounted for 179 of the team’s 304 yards of total offense. Without the injured Taysom Hill to take some of the rushing load, Kamara forged through a Seattle defense geared to stop him for 51 hard-earned rushing yards on 20 carries.
The Seahawks had no answer for Kamara as a receiver. New Orleans moved him around the formation and gashed the Seattle pass defense in the first half. Kamara finished with 10 receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown, with 109 of those coming in the first half.
Kamara accounted for nine touches and 52 of the 85 yards on a 19-play march that ended in a second-quarter field goal.
He was even more instrumental on a two-minute touchdown drive to end the half. Kamara was responsible for 64 of those 85 yards, including the 13-yard touchdown reception that gave the Saints a 10-7 halftime lead.
Alvin Kamara's 179 yards on 30 touches made him the fastest player in NFL history to reach 3,000 yards rushing and 3,000 yards receiving. He is the league's best dual-threat player and will continue to shoulder the New Orleans offense until WR Michael Thomas returns.
DEMARIO DAVIS, LINEBACKER
Less than one week before Halloween, Davis unleashed an inner beast that terrorized Seattle's offense. The 32-year-old was a one-man wrecking crew for a swarming defense that dominated on every level.
Davis had 10 tackles, including four for loss, broke up one pass, had 3 QB hits, and sacked Geno Smith twice. As always, Davis made several big plays that don't show up on a stat sheet. Two examples of this are when he blitzed and tied up inside blocking to free Kpassagnon and Malcolm Jenkins up for crucial sacks.
Davis fueled a run defense that continuously stifled Seattle's efforts to establish balance. As the unit’s emotional leaders, he and Jordan took over, keeping younger defenders focused as the intensity rose.
Davis' sequence on the Seahawks final drive clinched the game and ended Seattle's nightmare evening. His pressure on the second down set up Jenkins’ sack. On the next play, he chased down Smith for a sack that created 4th and 28. His near-interception on Smith's desperation fourth-down throw sealed the Saints' emotional victory.
Up next is the Halloween showdown with Tampa Bay. New Orleans still has a ton to clean up offensively, but the unit continues to make plays with Winston's improvement and Alvin Kamara's superhuman efforts.
New Orleans has a defense that makes every game a terror for opposing offenses. Demario Davis led a unit of intimidating beasts that won this game and gives them a chance to treat the team to a victory in every contest.
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