Saints plane breaks down in Seattle, stranding team

SEATTLE — When the Saints got blown out 34-7 on the road by the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night, it wasn’t the only time they failed to take off. Their plane broke down and couldn’t leave the Emerald City after the dispiriting loss, meaning the team was bracing to spend an extra night in Seattle.

Shortly after word broke, Saints safety Rafael Bush got on Twitter and wrote, “This night couldn’t get any worse.”

No other details were immediately available on the situation, and it wasn’t clear late Monday how much of an impact it would have on the team’s preparations for their game against the Carolina Panthers (9-3) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday night. It also wasn’t known precisely what time the Saints anticipated returning to New Orleans on Tuesday.

The plane breakdown capped off a dismal night for the Saints (9-3), who were outgained 429 yards to 188 and managed a season-low 12 first downs in their defeat. The loss dropped them into a tie for the lead in the NFC South with Carolina.

With four weeks left in the season, it also gave Seattle a two-game cushion and a head-to-head tie breaker over the Saints in the race for the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs and the home-field advantage associated with that.

“We took one on the chin today,” said Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who went 23-of-38 passing for a season-low 147 yards and a touchdown to tight end Jimmy Graham. “It is frustrating, it’s disappointing, we are a much better team than we put out there but we have to take our lumps.

Advocate sports writer Sheldon Mickles contributed to this report.