this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints left wanting after loss to Seattle By SHELDON MICKLES email@example.com Advocate sportswriter Associated Press photo Seattle's Seneca Wallace runs from New Orleans' Colby Bockwoldt (57). NEW ORLEANS -- Heading into his team's exhibition opener with the Seattle Seahawks on ...
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|08-13-2005, 02:04 PM||#1|
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Saints left wanting after loss to Seattle
Saints left wanting after loss to Seattle
By SHELDON MICKLES
Associated Press photo
Seattle's Seneca Wallace runs from New Orleans' Colby Bockwoldt (57).
NEW ORLEANS -- Heading into his team's exhibition opener with the Seattle Seahawks on Friday night, New Orleans Saints coach Jim Haslett was looking for three things.
He wanted to see the offense move the ball -- and move it smoothly -- and he wanted the defense to play good, sound football. By the end of the first half, the sixth-year coach was still looking. As was an estimated crowd of 25,000 in a less than half-filled Superdome.
The Saints offense committed three turnovers that led to the first three touchdowns by the Seahawks, who went on to a 24-3 halftime lead and an eventual 34-15 win. The Saints' defense, which played its starters for more than a quarter, gave up 229 total yards in the first two periods.
"Turnovers hurt us in the first half, and that gave Seattle a short field to work with," Haslett said. "Those are things that we have to clean up, and we will. It's the first preseason game and it shows what we need to concentrate on as we prepare for the (regular) season."
The second half was slightly more respectable as the Saints' second- and third-teamers managed to put 12 points on the board. But the Seahawks scored 10 of their own to finish off the Saints.
Running back Deuce McAllister fumbled on the Saints' third play from scrimmage, setting up a 13-yard touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck to Bobby Engram. But that was only the beginning for the Seahawks, who took advantage of two turnovers by Saints backup quarterback Todd Bouman.
Bouman fumbled while being sacked in the second quarter, which led to a 24-yard scoring run by Seahawks backup quarterback Seneca Wallace, and Bouman was intercepted by free safety John Howell on a badly underthrown ball. That led to a 28-yard scoring toss from Wallace to former Saints wide receiver Jerome Pathon.
Josh Brown kicked a 38-yard field goal just before the first half ended, while the Saints' only first-half points came on John Carney's 50-yard field goal. Carney's kick came after Hasselbeck's TD pass to Engram, which was as close as the Saints would get at 7-3.
"We didn't really accomplish what we wanted to do," said Saints wide receiver Joe Horn. "Going straight down the field and scoring a touchdown is what we wanted to do, and obviously, that did not happen. We have to go back to the film and the drawing board and look at it."
The only bright spot on offense in the first half for the Saints was McAllister, who, despite the early fumble, rushed for 38 yards on nine carries before being replaced by Aaron Stecker. Starting quarterback Aaron Brooks completed 5 of 9 pass attempts for 14 yards and Bouman was 3-of-5 for 23 yards in the first half as the Saints managed just 86 total yards.
"I thought we were moving it pretty well, but we killed ourselves with the turnovers and the false-start penalties," said Saints left tackle Wayne Gandy. "We were moving the ball pretty good, so that was encouraging. What was not encouraging was the turnovers, and we know if we want to win we definitely have to cut that out."
Bouman did rebound in the third quarter as he threw an 11-yard TD pass to wide receiver Talman Gardner after Brown kicked a 30-yard field goal to start the second-half scoring for the Seahawks.
Reserve quarterbacks Kliff Kingsbury and Adrian McPherson seemed to energize the Saints late in the third period and early in the fourth, but by that time they were going against second- and third-teamers.
Both Kingsbury, who was on the practice squad last year, and McPherson, a fifth-round draft choice, were playing in their first games with New Orleans. Kingsbury connected hooked up with Michael Lewis for a 57-yard gain on his first pass, which led to a 23-yard field goal by rookie Nate Fiske.
Kingsbury was 4-of-7 for 73 yards and McPherson, who played one drive, was 3-of-7 for 28 yards. McPherson, who showed some rookie jitters when he lined up behind the right guard while trying to take a snap late in the game, also scrambled four times for 25 yards.
The Seahawks scored their final touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 40-yard run by Leonard Weaver, while the Saints got a safety when Seahawks punter Chris Kluwe had a snap go over his head and he knocked the ball out of the end zone.