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Saints Can’t Stop Marshawn Lynch Yet Again In Sloppy Loss To Seahawks

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SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 11: Running back Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates after he scores a 31-yard touchdown run against the New Orleans Saints in the fourth quarter during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at CenturyLink Field on January 11, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Credit, Harry How/Getty Images)

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By Danny Cox

Going into Seattle, head coach Sean Payton knew that the Saints wouldn’t have it easy. The entire team knew it was going to be hard to come out of there with a victory, but they swore it would be different than the thrashing they took from the Seahawks six weeks ago.

It was a different game, but the outcome – for the Saints – was unfortunately the same.

Coaching Grade: C-

It really wasn’t too bad of a game called by Saints head coach Sean Payton, but there was one call in particular that ruined the whole day. With just over four minutes to play, the Saints faced a fourth and 15 while down by eight. Instead of going for it, Payton called for Shayne Graham to attempt a 48-yard field goal.

A 48-yard field goal attempt…into the wind.

Graham’s kick wasn’t even close; the Seahawks took over, and drove it quickly down for the clinching touchdown. Had it worked, the Saints defense had been playing well, but more time still would have been taken. It was a bad call.

Offense Grade: C

Drew Brees almost didn’t exist in the first half of the game. The Seahawks actually held him to the least amount of passing yardage in a first half in about five years. New Orleans’ running game was good, but not enough to even put a single point on the board.

The second half was a different story entirely as Brees, Mark Ingram, Khiry Robinson, and others player much better. Well, that’s except for the final play of the game where Marques Colston made a horrible decision to attempt a lateral, when he simply could have stepped out of bounds and given the chance one final shot.

Needless to say, the offense played well, but not well enough.

Defense Grade: B

Russell Wilson was a non-factor for the majority of the game as the Saints held him in check. He completed a couple big passes, but not enough to be much of a threat. Junior Galette and Cameron Jordan played excellently in keeping him in the pocket or rushed all day.

Stopping Marshawn Lynch was a problem again. A big, big problem for the Saints. He is just too strong, too forceful, and seems to be able to shake tacklers like they aren’t even on the field with him.

Had the Saints been able to stop Lynch, this game would have been very different.

Special Teams Grade: C

Shayne Graham was six of six since joining the Saints, but was 0-2 on the day against the Seahawks. The wind and rain had a lot to do with his performance, but he had the distance on both and missed them.

Thomas Morstead had a good day punting after his first one that almost blew right back in his face.

Darren Sproles did average in his kickoff returns, but could never give the Saints starting field position that was too helpful.

For more news and updates about the NFL Playoffs, visit NFL Playoffs Central.

Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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