Saints-Seahawks: Three and out

Seattle Seahawks mascot Show caption
Seattle Seahawks mascot "Blitz" motions on the field before an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

1. WHAT WE LEARNED

The Seahawks are indeed the best team in the NFL. This was billed as a showdown of the top two teams in the league — at least the NFC — but Seattle showed that at least on this night there is a gap as wide as Puget Sound between the Seahawks and the Saints. Seattle’s defense was dominant and opportunistic, clogging the passing arteries of the Saints’ typically prolific attack and producing the game’s first touchdown on a fumble return after Drew Brees was hit trying to pass. The Seattle offense was as potent as a cup of the city’s famous coffee, rolling up 429 total yards and a 27-7 halftime lead.

2. TRENDING NOW

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. One of the underlying storylines from this game was how it might be a referendum on the brewing MVP battle between Wilson and Brees. Score another victory on this night for Wilson. He totally outdueled Brees, completing 22 of 30 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns while also leading his team with eight carries for 47 yards. Brees had one of the worst games of his Saints career, completing 23 of 38 for just 147 yards with one touchdown pass and the fumble, ending his NFL record streak of 200-yard passing games at 43.

3. FINAL THOUGHTS

Whether it’s by two points or 27, this game counts as just one loss for New Orleans, but it certainly does make the Saints take stock of their goals. Now two games and a tiebreaker down to Seattle for home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs, New Orleans must turn its attention to returning home and holding serve against a surging Carolina Panthers team that has caught them at 9-3 for the NFC South lead. The Saints’ new goal: Win the division to secure the No. 2 playoff seed and see if you can figure out how to win at Seattle in the NFC Championship Game.