The Saints (7-3) trail NFC South leader Atlanta by one game. Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck offered his take on the game: "It's really tough when you are playing against a great player like Drew Brees. He was real hot today and when a guy like that is making plays and throwing touchdowns like he did and keeping drives alive, well, it's really hard to win. Their offense was lights out today, and they had better stuff than we did." The NFC West-leading Seahawks (5-5) tried to make a go of it as Hasselbeck finished 32 of 44 for 366 yards combining with Brees for 750 yards. Brees became the Saints' all-time completions (1,850) leader to break a record held by Archie Manning since 1982
. Brees connected with Marques Colston and Robert Meachem twice for touchdowns. Brees had two interceptions and a passer rating of 106.9 Running back Chris Ivory gained 99 yards on 23 carries and scored his first touchdown on a 1-yard jump into the end zone. He now has 482 yards rushing for the season, the most by any rookie in the NFL. Colston had eight catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns.
Rookie tight end Jimmy Graham, filling in for injured Jeremy Shockey (bruised ribs) had a solid game with five receptions for 72 yards, Kicker Garrett Hartley missed a 27-yard chip shot field goal attempt. All of the five kicks he has missed this season have been wide left. The Saints totaled 494 net yards as opposed to the Seahawks' 424. Brees hit 10 different receivers while passing for more than 300 yards for the 35th time in his career.
The Saints played their eighth straight game without running back Reggie Bush, who wanted to play Sunday, but was placed on the inactive list after coach Seam Payton watched him warm up before the game. "Reggie's pregame workout was good and yet I just felt like what I didn't want to do was err on the side of bringing him back," said Payton. "I'm optimistic this week I think there is a great chance, He was close in a workout, but if a player comes up and then can't finish you end up with one less player. It's not like college so those are tough calls."
The Saints have been without Pierre Thomas (sprained ankle) for seven straight weeks. Meachem had three catches for 50 yards, the longest going for a 32-yard score.
The Saints are back in the conversations on teams that are Super Bowl contenders.
by Ed Staton
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