Jimmy Graham got into it with Bruce Irvin and Richard Sherman during warmups an hour prior to kickoff. And that has been the extent of Graham’s contribution to the game. Of Drew Brees’ five completions for 34 yards, Graham had none and only one target. If only he learned to play basketball in the rain.
New Orleans opened the proceeding with a swift three and out, Thomas Morstead then bobbled the snap and only punted it 16 yards to Saints’ 40. New Orleans stonewalled the Seahawks on the first two plays. Russell Wilson tried Percy Harvin deep on third down. The pass was broken up but Rafael Bush was flagged for a personal foul for hitting a defenseless receiver in the head. Bush appeared to target his chest but Harvin leaned his head into the contact. Nevertheless, it might be unfair to defensive backs but it’s something the refs will almost always call.
The Seahawks still only got a field goal out of it. The Saints running game came alive early on the next drive, picking up 34 yards to get New Orleans into Seattle territory. The Saints blew up one screen to Darren Sproles, but another one on third and long salvaged enough yards to force a Shayne Graham 45-yard field goal attempt that went just wide.
Seattle responded with a solid drive that ended with Russell Wilson missing Golden Tate on a 3rd and five at the Saints’ 25. The Seahawks just wanted to show off that they could actually hit field goals, taking a 6-0 lead with less than a minute left in the first quarter.
Just when it seemed like the Saints might have to depend on their running game to win it, Ingram fumbled deep in New Orleans’ territory. Two plays later, Marshawn Lynch went BEEF MOE into the end zone from 15 yards out and the Seahawks, as expected, were showered with Skittles coming off the field.
Down multiple scores, the Saints started throwing, but Brees was wildly inaccurate in the rain. The teams traded possessions, then the Saints took over near midfield with about nine minutes left in the half. They drove to the edge of field goal range but rather than try for another long Shayne Graham miss, the Saints opted to try to convert a 4th and 4. Brees looked to have Marques Colston open over the middle, but the pass got swatted got by Bobby Wagner.
Seattle threatened again, but settled for another field goal after Percy Harvin took another massive head trauma and had to be helped off the field, which might make it seem like they’re letting the Saints hang around if New Orleans had produced any amount of offense in the first half. And the Seahawks didn’t start the third quarter with the ball.