If you ever wanted to know what Russell Wilson has meant to the Seattle Seahawks, rewatch Monday night's game.
On second thought, don't watch that ugly game ever again.
The Seahawks have outdated notions on how rushing the ball more, and not necessarily effectively, is how to win games. What really happens is they often put themselves in a hole with that approach, but Wilson is so good he can make a handful of plays to bail them out.
With Wilson recovering from finger surgery, there's basically no offense in Seattle. The New Orleans Saints shut down a painfully predictable offense in an ugly 13-10 win. The Seahawks had 219 yards of offense and 84 of that came on one big touchdown to DK Metcalf. The offense, with a never-ending string of unsuccessful first- and second-down runs, was hard to watch.
The Seahawks need Wilson back. But they're 2-5, and they might not be relevant to the season anymore by the time Wilson has healed.
Saints, Seahawks struggle on offense
Monday night was not pretty. There's no way around it. Neither coach trusts his quarterback. The Saints are doing everything they can to limit Jameis Winston's impact on a game. Without Wilson, the normally conservative Seahawks have gone into a shell. Geno Smith was on the field to hand off and if Pete Carroll had his way, do nothing else.
Both defenses were good enough to stop predictable offenses that don't have a ton of playmakers. For most of the game, Seattle's best offense seemed to be Metcalf baiting Marshon Lattimore into personal foul penalties. Metcalf made a huge play early on an 84-yard touchdown catch, but that was pretty much it for the Seahawks offense, which decided they'd try to win with running back Alex Collins getting a couple yards every attempt.
That's how the game got to the fourth quarter tied 10-10. Jason Myers missed two field goals, one after a crushing sack on third down pushed the Seahawks to the edge of Myers' range. That miss came with 6:44 left and the game tied 10-10.
The Seahawks' chance to win had passed.
Saints close out a win
The Seahawks took a questionable roughing the passer penalty, when Seattle safety Marquise Blair was coming in to finish a sack and happened to hit Winston in the head. It didn't seem like that was his intent, but it was a penalty. In Monday's game, 15 yards was enormous.
After that, a play that sums up the approach of both teams got the Saints in position to win. On a third-and-10, the Saints decided to run the ball instead of having Winston throw. And Alvin Kamara ran for 12 yards. Sometimes great players can overcome conservative calls. The Seahawks of the past decade, since Wilson was drafted, can attest to that.
The Seahawks had a brutal penalty after the Kamara run. Al Woods went offsides on a field-goal attempt, which gave the Saints the first down. The Seahawks still held the Saints to a field goal, but New Orleans took more than a minute off the clock.
When Seattle got the ball back, trailing 13-10, Smith threw incomplete and then took two straight sacks. On fourth-and-28, Smith had nothing open and threw a desperation pass that was broken up by linebacker Demario Davis, who had a great game.
Hey, at least the Seahawks tried to pass it.