It got a little scary late, but in the end, Seattle’s 12th man prevailed once again.
Down by 8 with 26 seconds remaining, the Saints recovered an onside kick and after a horrific start, were now in a position to tie the game.
Those hopes faded away when Marques Colston caught a pass at the Saints 38-yard line with seconds remaining. Instead of going out of bounds which would have given the Saints a chance at a hail mary, Colston tried lateraling the ball backwards, but instead illegally threw the ball forwards effectively giving the win to the Seahawks.
The first half was filled with a handful Saints mistakes coupled with a dominant defensive display by the Seahawks. Seattle held Drew Brees to just 34 passing yards and took a 16-0 lead into the locker room. This was the first time since 2006 that Brees was held to under 50 passing yards in a half.
In the half, Shayne Graham missed a field goal, and Mark Ingram fumbled deep in New Orleans territory which led to a 15-yard Marshawn Lynch touchdown.
The Saints offense finally got it together in the 4th quarter after Brees led a 9-play 74 yard drive capped off by a Kari Robinson touchdown that cut the Seahawks lead in half.
With under 5 minutes to go in the game, the Saints looked like they were going to get back in it after a Drew Brees pass went off the hands of 2 Seahawks defenders landing in the arms of Robert Meachem for a 52-yard gain.
The Seattle defense stood up after that, and Shayne Graham missed his 2nd field goal of the game. On the ensuing Seahawks drive, Marshawn Lynch broke free for a 31-yard touchdown that gave Seattle a 23-8 lead. For the game, Lynch had 28 carries for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns.
New Orleans wouldn’t go away though. In just over 2 minutes, Brees drove the Saints 80-yards. The score was now 23-15 with 26 seconds left and the Saints needing to recover an onside kick. They did, but Marques Colston’s failed lateral was the nail in the Saints coffin.
The Saints were simply unable to overcome the teams terrible start to the game, which resulted in the Seahawks being able to pound the ball with Marshawn Lynch.
Russell Wilson didn’t lose the game for Seattle. He completed just 9 of 18 passes for 103 yards, and more importantly, didn’t turn the ball over.
Jimmy Graham had just 1 catch for the Saints.
The Seahawks will now prepare to face the winner of the Panthers and the 49ers in the NFC Championship game next Sunday.