Before anything, it should be noted that the Seattle Seahawks are far from the cream of the NFL. They've played .500 while in arguably the worst division in professional football, so the Saints should have won.
That said, though, the Saints should have beat the Cardinals and Browns, so no game can be taken for granted. But is this team finally starting to piece it all together at the level they did last year? After beating the Steelers on Halloween two weeks ago, it does seem as if the Black and Gold have reached that heightened sense of urgency and focus that we grew so accustomed to last season.
Sean Payton refuses to say that his team is on a roll. With good cause (the Saints face the newly resurgent Cowboys in four days) Payton will refrain from claiming any sort of larger victories. As a whole, Saints are still chasing the Falcons in the NFC South. But when it comes down to it, every win helps.
Let's eat some imaginary food:
—Drew Brees— Four touchdowns (and it could've been six if he hadn't thrown two interceptions on the goal line) and 382-yards passing and it's looking like the super-accurate Brees of last year. The 67% passing certainly makes up for the two INTs.
—Marques Colston— One tough-as-nails touchdown where he bounced off two defenders before diving in and one pretty-as-can-be touchdown as he went high to catch a TD up the seam and you realize why Colston is the complete package at wide receiver.
—Robert Meachem— Did I mention Colston opens up the field, allowing fellow receivers like Meachem to shine? Meachem had three receptions and two touchdowns. That's what you call efficiency.
—Lance Moore— His one-handed catch up the sideline in the fourth quarter (on third-and-10, no less) may have been the play of the game and all but sealed it for the Saints.
—Scott Shanle— Led the team in tackles and stripped Marshawn Lynch and recovered the fumble. On a day where Jonathan Vilma was surprisingly absent, Shanle stood strong.
—Roman Harper— Also forced a fumble on Lynch and recovered. He's also elevated his play in recent weeks which is just what the Saints needed with Darren Sharper still injured.
—Chris Ivory— Ran tough throughout the game, was just one yard shy of 100 and notched a touchdown. He also didn't fumble. These are all good things.
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—Marshawn Lynch— Had two fumbles which had Brian Billick talking about the finer points of holding a football during FOX's broadcast. When you need coaching on how to properly hold onto a football at the professional level, you're not looking so good.
—David Hawthorne— Will someone tell this guy that Seattle's defense is supposed to be bad? Where does he get off recording ten tackles and an interception? This guy is seriously delusional if he thinks playing at his best despite the people around him will make his team any better.
—Matt Hasselbeck— He threw for 366 yards and continued a disturbing trend of quarterbacks finding receivers deep against the Saints secondary. I hope someone sent some bottled New Orleans tap water to the Dallas Cowboys c/o Jon Kitna so we don't have to see him complete long passes on Thanksgiving.
—Jabari Greer— He was beaten badly on the Seahawks' two biggest passing plays on the day. (It's OK, he knows not to drink it).
—Garrett Hartley— Apparently, Hartley's kicking range is within an extra-point. You had to laugh when he hit the upright from 27-yards to keep from crying.
—Gregg Williams— His defense gave up 424 yards and didn't register a sack on the day. They also forced two fumbles and kept Seattle to under 60-yards rushing. In the end, the win is all that matters.
—Reggie Bush— Though everyone thought Bush was going to be back in the line up this week, Payton opted to keep him out until Thursday against Dallas. Hey, at least he got to see his old coach, Pete Carroll. I'm sure they had a lot to talk about.