Football fans didn’t have to wait long for the big upset of the 2010 playoffs to happen. The first game of the wild card round proved to be the upset of the tournament as the Seahawks, who entered the postseason with a losing record, defeated the defending champion Saints 41-36.
Despite leading the Seahawks 10-0 early in the first quarter, the Seahawks came back in a hurry. The Saints were bitten by the big plays of the Seahawks, as Matt Hasselbeck torched the Saints secondary by tossing four touchdown passes.
Although the Saints’ defense struggled mightily, their offense seemed to be affected by the loud condition in Seattle’s Qwest Stadium. After their hot start, the Saints scored, but were inconsistent on offense as the Seahawks continued to rack up points against the Saints’ overmatched defense.
Beleaguered by injuries, the Saints entered the game with only Julius Jones, Reggie Bush, and DeShawn Wynn, who was signed by the Saints this week, as their running backs. Over the course of the game, both Bush and Jones went down, hampering an already injury-ravaged Saints team.
With all of the injuries that the team suffered, the one that affected the team the most was safety Malcolm Jenkins. The Seahawks constantly targeted Roman Harper in coverage, burning him early and often. The Saints secondary also seemed to be very confused with Jenkins’ absence.
Despite being down at the end of the third quarter, the Saints cut the Seahawks lead to four with around six minutes left. After going three-and-out, the Saints gave the ball back to the Seahawks, where their running back, Marshawn Lynch, ran for a 67-yard touchdown, all but sealing the win for the Seahawks.
It was a disappointing end to the season for a Saints franchise and fanbase that has been used to disappointments throughout its history.