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Saints vs. Seahawks Series History

New Orleans returns from a bye week with a road trip to face the Seattle Seahawks next Monday night.  Here's a look back at a sometimes painful history of games between the two franchises.
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After a bye week, the New Orleans Saints return to action one week next week when they travel to face the 2-4 Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football. New Orleans comes into the game with a 3-2 record.

This is their fifth road game of the season, losing the only game they played in the Superdome this season to the New York Giants. Week 1 was officially considered a home contest, but was relocated to Jacksonville because of Hurricane Ida.

This is the 17th all-time meeting between the Saints and Seahawks. The series is tied at 8-8, including two postseason matchups between the teams won by the Seahawks. Both of those playoff games were played in Seattle, where the Saints have a 4-6 all-time record.

SERIES BEGINNINGS

The first meeting between these teams took place in Seattle on November 21, 1976, the Seahawks first NFL season. New Orleans surrendered a first quarter touchdown to fall behind 7-0, but capitalized on Seattle mistakes the rest of the afternoon.

The Saints rolled up 258 yards rushing, led by a combined 153 yards and two touchdowns from Chuck Muncie and Tony Galbreath. Defensively, New Orleans held Seattle quarterbacks to just 17 completions on 34 attempts and forced five turnovers on their way to a 51-27 victory.

Seattle was placed in the NFC during their first year of existence. They were moved to the AFC West in 1977, where they remained until 2001. During that 25-year stretch New Orleans and Seattle played just six times. The Saints won three of those matchups and were 1-2 when traveling to Seattle.

Upon NFL realignment in 2002, the Seahawks were moved to the NFC West, while the Saints were moved into the newly formed NFC South. These teams have played nine times since realignment, including the two postseason matchups. The Seahawks hold a 5-4 advantage during that period, but the teams have split their six meetings in Seattle.

SEASONED LEADERSHIP

Credit: seahawks.com

Credit: seahawks.com

New Orleans coach Sean Payton is the second longest tenured coach in the NFL behind only New England's Bill Belichick. Seattle's Pete Carroll has the fourth longest tenure with his team, trailing Belichick, Payton, and Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin.

Payton's Saints are 4-3 against Seattle, 2-3 on the road and 4-1 in the regular season, since he took over the team in 2006. The first time Payton's Saints faced the Seahawks was on Sunday, October 14 in Seattle, in front of a prime time audience.

New Orleans scored the game’s first 21 points and raced to a 28-10 halftime lead on their way to a 28-17 road victory. They were led by an efficient performance from QB Drew Brees, 141 all-purpose yards from RB Reggie Bush, and a defense that recorded five sacks and forced two turnovers.

These teams wouldn't play again until the 2010 season, Carroll's first as coach of the Seahawks. The defending Super Bowl champion Saints won a November regular season matchup in New Orleans, 34-19. New Orleans rolled up 494 total yards and got 382 yards passing from Drew Brees, 113 yards receiving and 2 scores from WR Marques Colston, and 99 yards rushing from RB Chris Ivory. New Orleans also surrendered 424 yards defensively to Seattle. It was a harbinger of things to come.

PLAYOFF HORRORS

Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch breaks through the New Orleans defense for a game-clinching touchdown during a 2011 playoff game. Credit: USA TODAY 

Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch breaks through the New Orleans defense for a game-clinching touchdown during a 2011 playoff game. Credit: USA TODAY 

The Saints finished second in the NFC South in 2010. Despite an 11-5 record, they’d have to play a Wild-Card playoff game at a 7-9 Seattle team that won the NFC West. New Orleans seemed off from the start. They had the same defensive struggles from their regular season matchup and were unable to run the ball with any consistency.

Drew Brees threw for 404 yards and 2 touchdowns on an eye-popping 60 attempts, spreading the ball around to nine different receivers. After jumping to a 17-7 second quarter lead, the Saints defense collapsed and forced the team to play catch-up the rest of the afternoon.

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New Orleans fell behind 24-20 by halftime and allowed the Seahawks to carve out 415 yards in total offense. Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck had an efficient game, but RB Marshawn Lynch proved to be an unstoppable force.

The Saints narrowed their deficit to 34-30, but desperately needed a defensive stop with just four minutes left in the game. Marshawn Lynch put the defending champs away by literally plowing through the entire Saints defense. Lynch ran through eleven tackles on his way to a 67-yard touchdown that clinched a 41-36 Seattle victory.

New Orleans and Seattle wouldn't meet again until the 2013 season, with more disastrous outcomes for the Saints. Carroll had built the Seahawks into an NFC power that would go on to win the Super Bowl that season.

New Orleans traveled to Seattle on a Monday night in week 13 of the regular season. The Seahawks dismantled the Saints, 34-7, holding them their powerful offense to just 188 total yards. Seattle racked up 429 yards of their own, including 310 passing yards and 3 touchdowns from QB Russell Wilson.

New Orleans Saints receiver Marques Colston secures the ball against the Seattle Seahawks in a 2014 playoff game. Credit: neworleanssaints.com

New Orleans Saints receiver Marques Colston secures the ball against the Seattle Seahawks in a 2014 playoff game. Credit: neworleanssaints.com

After a one-year hiatus, Payton led the Saints back to the playoffs with an 11-5 record and second place finish in the NFC South. New Orleans defeated Philadelphia in the Wild-Card round and was awarded with a trip to Seattle to face the 13-3 and top-seeded Seahawks in the Divisional playoffs.

Seattle raced to a 16-0 halftime lead, but the underdog Saints battled back. New Orleans actually outgained the Seahawks in total yardage, 409-277, and closed to within 16-8 after a fourth quarter score by RB Khiry Robinson and successful two-point conversion.

QB Drew Brees led a valiant comeback effort, throwing for 309 yards as the Saints defense stiffened in the second half. Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for 140 yards and 2 scores, plunged another postseason dagger in the heart of New Orleans late in the fourth quarter. With less than three minutes remaining, Lynch again bowled over several Saints tacklers for a 31-yard touchdown run to increase Seattle's lead to 23-8.

Brees led the Saints on an 80-yard scoring march with just 2:40 to play. WR Marques Colston had a monstrous afternoon, catching 11 passes for 144 yards. Colston caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Brees to close the gap to 23-15 with just 32 seconds to play.

New Orleans recovered the ensuing onside kick, giving them an opportunity to tie the score with a touchdown. Two plays later, an illegal lateral by Colston ended the game and sent the Saints home with another heartbreaking postseason defeat.

SMALL VINDICATION

Sep 22, 2019; New Orleans Saints receiver Deonte Harris (11) returns a punt for a touchdown against the Seahawks. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 22, 2019; New Orleans Saints receiver Deonte Harris (11) returns a punt for a touchdown against the Seahawks. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans has won the last two meetings between these two. The first was a 25-20 victory in the Superdome during the 2016 season. The last time these teams met was on September 22, 2019, in Seattle. New Orleans was without injured QB Drew Brees and were outgained by the Seahawks, 514-265, but won with dominant special teams and an opportunistic defense.

New Orleans got a 53-yard punt return touchdown from WR Deonte Harris to open the scoring and a 33-yard fumble return for a score from S Vonn Bell to take a 20-7 halftime lead. Saints RB Alvin Kamara had 161 total yards, including 92 receiving, and two touchdowns to counteract 402 passing yards from Seattle QB Russell Wilson in a 33-27 New Orleans win.

The Saints will need another strong performance from their defense and special teams to prevail at Seattle again. New Saints QB Jameis Winston and the New Orleans offense have gone through some offensive growing pains over the first quarter of the year.

The Saints should get back several players who have missed all or most of the season, but will be without All-Pro WR Michael Thomas and Pro Bowl K Wil Lutz for several more weeks. Defensively, New Orleans will look to force mistakes from a Seattle team without an injured Wilson and RB Chris Carson.

New Orleans has a 9-6 record after their bye week since 2006, but have won 4 of their last 5 games after a bye. They'll need to continue that success against conference foe Seattle if they want to lay the groundwork for a playoff run.

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