August 12, 2005

Saints Dominated in Preseason Opener: Seahawks run over Saints 34-15; Henderson, Grant injured

"Can't play like that and win," John Pease said after the game of NOPF's and WWL's Kenny Wilkerson. "We got a long way to go and we got to get it fixed now."

The Saints got off to a bad start. Taking the opening kickoff at the 19 yard line, the Saints opened with three straight runs by Deuce McAllister. On the third, McAllister was stripped of the ball, which was recovered at the 19 yard line.

The Seahawks scored on a touchdown to Bobby Engram two plays later to go up 7-0.

The Saints drove down the field, mostly under the power of McAllister's legs, and scored on a 50-yard field goal by K John Carney. The first team played through the first quarter and the first drive of the second quarter, and the defense surrendered a few big plays to the Seahawks but did a good job getting pressure on Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck.

QB Todd Bouman and the reserves took over with 11 minutes left in the second quarter. On his first pass attempt, Bouman was sacked when Aaron Stecker wiffed a pass block and lost a fumble which was recovered by the Seahawks. Mercurial Seattle QB Seneca Wallace, the 5'11 dynamo who is trying to prove himself as Seattle's #2, scored four plays later on a 24-yard dash. On that drive, former Saint WR Jerome Pathon had a tough first-down reception on third down.

On the next drive, Bouman was picked off on a pass intended for Devery Henderson and four plays later, Wallace put the Seahawks up 21-3 with a scoring strike to Pathon. The Seahawks added field goals around half time and on the first drive of the second half, Bouman led the team on a solid 12-play 74-yard drive that took over six minutes.

The drive featured big passes from Bouman to Boo Williams, Nate Poole and Michael Lewis before he hit Talman Gardner at the four yard line. Gardner dove to the end zone and was given a touchdown after official deliberation. It was the Saints' only touchdown of the day. Bouman missed on his first attempt of the drive but hit his next five passes.

In the fourth quarter, Nate Fikse added a field goal for the Saints after Kliff Kingsbury's first pass attempt of the night was a beautiful in-stride strike to a streaking Michael Lewis for 57 yards.

The Seahawks responded with a 40-yard touchdown run by big bruiser rookie Leonard Newman, who broke several Saints tackles. The Saints added two more points when Seahawks backup P kicked an errant long snap out of the back of the end zone.

QB Adrian McPherson, in the final Saints drive of the night, led the Saints to the Seattle five yard line before he missed on a fourth down pass into the end zone. The drive took over five minutes and featured big runs by McPherson and RB Keith Joseph. Former Georgia QB David Greene kneeled off the final minute of the game.

Three injuries were reported by Jim Haslett after the game: LB Cie Grant (patella tendon), WR Devery Henderson (grade two seperated shoulder), CB Fred Booker (hamstring).

Henderson caught one pass for 17 yards on the night. 12 different Saints received passes from four different quarterbacks, led by Aaron Stecker with four catches for four yards and Michael Lewis with three catches for 81 yards.

McAllister finished with nine carries for 38 yards, a 4.2 yard/carry average. Antowain Smith had 29 yards on nine carries, and McPherson had four rushes for 24 yards.

Although he struggled with two turnovers early on, QB Todd Bouman finished 8/11 for 89 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. He was sacked twice. Brooks finished 5/9 for 14 yards, completing no passes to wide receivers although Joe Horn dropped two and Stallworth had a great catch downfield that was nullified by an illegal formation penalty on rookie RT Jammal Brown.

Kingsbury finished 4/7 for 73 yards and McPherson finished 3/7 for 28 yards.

LB Sedrick Hodge, who started at strongside linebacker, and reserve cornerback Jason Craft each had four tackles. Craft was twice beaten by the Seahawks including on Pathon's touchdown. WLB Colby Bockwoldt collected a sack on Matt Hasselbeck.

Brown looked good on the night despite costing the team a big play by not lining up close enough to the line of scrimmage. Newly-promoted T Ben Archibald, who played left tackle for the second string, looked bad and was penalized for holding. The Saints may have a real problem at reserve tackle this preseason, which won't help either of the young quarterbacks looking to win a job.

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