BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The New Orleans-Seattle Monday Night Football Game was expected to be a thriller. Instead in turned into a Seahawks rout.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson dominated the Saints defense by passing for 310 yards and three touchdowns and the Seahawks became the first team to clinch a playoff slot in the NFC with a dominating 34-7 victory.
While Wilson completed 22 of 30 passes, Drew Brees connected on 23 of 38 passes for 147 yards and one touchdown. Brees had passed for 200-plus yards in 43 straight games. That streak ended Monday night.
The Seahawks improved to 11 and 1 while the Saints dropped to 9 and 3, tied with Carolina atop the NFC South Division standings. Seattle has jumped to a two game lead over the nearest NFC opponents in the race for home-field advantage. That's the Saints and Carolina, so the Seahawks hold the tiebreaker with 4 regular season games remaining.
Since taking over the Saints in 2006, only one other New Orleans team under head coach Sean Payton had been held to 7 points.
When Wilson was rushed by the Saints front line, the gifted quarterback was able to break away and had 47 yards rushing on the night.
No one expected Seattle to coast under the win column against the Saints. The Seahawks were a 4 1/2 point favorite before the game.
Seattle is tough to beat at home and when the playoffs kick off the Seahawks will be able to play at home, unless they falter down the stretch. That home field advantage is huge.
New Orleans must regroup and do so quickly. The Saints fly back from the West coast with a Sunday night showdown on national television in the Mercedes-Bentz Superdome facing another NFC contender in the Carolina Panthers.
It won't be easy but you can expect Brees and Payton will do whatever they can in getting prepared for a crucial showdown with the Panthers. The NFC South Division lead will be on the line.