Observations and topics of conversations in the aftermath of yesterday's thrilling Saints victory. If ever a team was ripe for the plucking, it was the Seahawks yesterday.
Since 1970, teams who faced 90-plus snaps defensively are 17 and 40 in their next game. After their marathon overtime tie with Arizona last Sunday night, this was a tired Seattle defense playing after a long flight eastward across three time zones and facing an early kick-off. Arizona was confronting a similar challenge in going to Carolina yesterday. Both lost.
So why wouldn't the Seahawks try to control the ball offensively and give their defense some rest? Instead they ran the ball three times for three yards in the first half, giving the saints a nearly 13-minute advantage in time of possession.
After looking at the half-time stats, the Seahawks ran the ball seven straight times in their first possession of the third quarter. The damage had already been done.
Saints fans might want to send Ed Hochuli a protein shake today, thanking him and his crew for calling 11 penalties for 76 yards against Seattle two for 10 yards against the Saints. Failing to call pick plays against the Saints - in the eyes of the Seahawks anyway - on two crucial Brandin Cooks catches probably decided the game. Richard Sherman had a lot to say about the officiating afterward. Wouldn't you love to have the money Sherman, Josh Norman and Cam Newton will probably be paying in fines this week for critiquing the officiating yesterday?
And finally, it's sad to see what's happened to one of the best success stories in Saints history. Jimmy Graham's humble origin and broad smile made him one of the most popular Saints ever as he was becoming the second-leading touchdown receiver ever in Black and Gold. In the college Navy wolf gray and action green of the Seahawks he's fighting back from a serious injury, has one touchdown this season and yesterday had three catches for 35 yards.
He refused to talk to even the Seattle media before and after the game. Even though he's no longer a Saint, you miss his smile while he misses the circumstances in which he did.
Thanks for the memories.
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