Ralph Malbrough / Contributing Writer
How complete was the Seattle Seahawks 34-7 destruction of the New Orleans Saints Monday night? It’s the third quarter and I’m writing this column and in the Drew Brees-Sean Payton Era that has happened maybe twice.
The scariest thing about the game was it wasn’t penalties, turnovers or general incompetence by the Saints. Nope. It was almost all Seattle, folks. They out coached, outplayed and even out lucked the Saints.
Seattle did whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted to do it. On offense, they didn’t punt in the first half. The Saints defense, which has been so good in 2013, allowed Seattle to have 300 yards and 27 points in the first 30 minutes.
The Seahawks turned a Drew Brees fumble into a touchdown and Russell Wilson hit Zach Miller for a 60-yard completion and the three plays later it was 17-0. Things were out of hand before I finished my chicken wings.
If you want to claim the Saints lost because they didn’t run the ball enough or maybe they shouldn’t have thrown that third down pass to Josh Hill late in the second quarter, stop talking. Monday night was simply Seattle saying, “We are the best team in the NFC right now. The Super Bowl goes through us.”
Sometimes, the simple answer is simple because it’s correct.
Seattle covered Saints receivers in a way no team has since Brees has been their quarterback. It was as stunning as it was remarkable. Brees never hit any big throws when Seattle was still really interested in stopping him. The Saints didn’t have 200 yards of offense, which was their lowest total since 2003. Brees didn’t throw for 150 passing yards and that’s the first time in 43 games he has done that..
Be prepared to listen to the talking heads rehash every poor Saints road performance ad nausea.
“The Saints are soft.”
“The Saints can’t win outdoors.”
“Drew Brees is allergic to cold weather.”
“What’s the difference between Frosty the Snowman and Drew Brees? Frosty can survive outside in the snow.”
You get the idea.
By Thursday you’ll want to punch every ESPN talking head in the face. Or maybe you want to do it right now. I won’t judge because it was a rough night. This my friends is what it’s like to be a Houston Texan fan every week. Be grateful we don’t have to watch such horrors on a regular basis.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse right tackle Zach Strief limps off the field. So where do the Saints go from here? Back home to face Carolina for control of the NFC South and the no. 2 seed in the NFC.
Sean Payton said, “It’s setback, we have to make the corrections. We can’t just say it didn’t happen.” Coach, a lot of us wish we could do just that. Here’s the biggest correction you need to make Sean: Don’t play in Seattle again until January.
Since teams usually have a week between games, fans and media always tend to overreact.
Seattle will never lose at home -- ever. For all eternity, Pete Carroll will roam the sideline smiling and cheering.
The Saints will never score double digits again, Sean Payton will end up coaching a junior college, and Drew Brees will retire to become a Jimmy Johns mogul.
In reality, the Saints will play Carolina at home on Sunday night, where they do to teams exactly what Seattle just did to them. The Saints will face a team whose best defensive back isn’t as good as any the Seahawks played yesterday. Completely different team, place, and game. I refuse to panic because the Saints went into a stadium and got ripped to shreds exactly like pretty much every other team in the NFL has done.
Still feeling down and worried the Super Bowl is out of reach?
In 1981, the San Francisco 49ers destroyed the Dallas Cowboys at home 45-14. In the rematch in the NFC Championship, they needed a miracle throw from Joe Montana to escape with a win. If the Saints are lucky enough to get a rematch, it might not look anything like Monday.
For our sanity, let’s hope so.
Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, find him on facebook, follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/SaintsForecast or download his podcast at Itunes.