The Seahawks’ season might not be over following Monday night’s 13-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

There are 10 games left to play, after all, and while Seattle is 2-5 and only one team in the NFC has a worse record — the winless Detroit Lions — the hopeful view is that anything can still happen.

But if that is debatable, what should be over is any argument over how much Russell Wilson has meant to the Seattle Seahawks through his 10 years with the team.

In Seattle’s second full game without Wilson, the Seahawks suffered their second defeat — and their third in a row for the first time since before Wilson arrived in 2011 — as the Seahawks got just one touchdown and gained only 219 yards, 84 coming on one play in the first quarter.

Seattle has scored just three touchdowns in two games without Wilson and just 30 points overall — barely more than the 28.7 per game they averaged last season.

Saints 13, Seahawks 10


Put another way, in Wilson’s 149 games as Seattle’s quarterback, the Seahawks have been held to 10 or fewer points just eight times. It has now happened once in two games without him.


And for the third consecutive game since Wilson was injured in the third quarter against the Rams on Oct. 7, Seattle had the ball in the final minutes with a chance to win it.

And for the third consecutive game, the Geno Smith-led offense came up short.

This time, when Seattle got the ball back with 1:56 left, trailing by three, there was no Smith turnover — as there had been to end the Rams and Steelers games — just four futile plays, two of which were sacks.

The sacks were two of five Smith took for the game. Another came on the previous drive when Smith was thrown for a loss of 11 yards on third down, resulting in Jason Myers having to attempt a 53-yard field goal on a blustery, rainy night.

Myers missed, one of his two on the night, a particularly rough development when points are already at a premium.

“Just not being comfortable with the situation,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said frankly of the sacks Smith took at the end. “We reminded him. The time we were on the 23-yard line or something like that in great shape and we take a big loss. We’ve just got to find a way to get the ball out and get it gone when we’re in trouble. That’s easy to say. Go play quarterback and try to figure it out. I love Geno, and he’s busting his ass to do everything he can to help us. But that’s the kind of decisions that you make that keep you in the games and give you a chance to win.”


Smith didn’t try to argue Carroll’s point that the sacks needed to be avoided.

“That’s a part of playing quarterback,” Smith said. “Being a quarterback, you’ve got to put the team in the best position to win. Whatever I have to do to get the ball out or evade the sack, whatever I have to do to not have that happen, that’s my job. I put that solely on myself.”

Of course, it was silly if anyone thought Smith, who had not started a game since 2017 and hadn’t been a full-time starter since 2014, would be able to orchestrate the offense as well as Wilson, who is one of the best in NFL history.

And Seattle’s game plan Monday night made it clear it wasn’t counting on Smith to carry the load.

The Seahawks played conservative on defense much of the night, hoping to make the Saints hunt-and-peck their way down the field and put the game in the hands of erratic quarterback Jameis Winston and a struggling receiving corps.

And offensively, Seattle hoped to get the running game going as it had a week ago at Pittsburgh.


The defensive part worked as the Seahawks gave up just one touchdown, on a two-minute drive before halftime when the Seahawks somehow kept losing track of Alvin Kamara, who had four catches for 64 yards on the drive, including a 13-yarder for a score.

But otherwise, Seattle shut down the Saints running game, forced a turnover that could have given the Seahawks the lead in the third quarter, and held the Saints to 87 yards on 29 plays in the second half.

“We’ve turned the corner in a lot of areas on defense,” Carroll said of a unit that came into the game ranked last in the NFL in yards allowed at 433.2. “Holding any team in the NFL to 13 points is remarkable.”

It might have been 10 if not for two critical penalties on New Orleans’ final drive — a roughing-the-passer flag on third down on Marquise Blair that negated a sack, and an offsides on Al Woods when the Saints were lining up for a 42-yard field goal by rookie Brian Johnson, who was making his NFL debut. That allowed the Saints to move 9 yards closer and take another 1:14 off the clock before Johnson’s kick put the Saints ahead 13-10 with 1:56 left.

That brought on Smith and the Seattle offense, whose only touchdown to that point was an 84-yard pass from Smith to DK Metcalf with 10:08 left in the first quarter. The play was a brilliant feat by Metcalf to outmuscle Pro Bowl corner Marshon Lattimore for the ball. But it was also hardly a play that could be repeated often, and it wasn’t.

Seattle gained just 90 yards rushing on 28 attempts, and besides the pass to Metcalf, Smith was just 11 for 21 for 83 yards.


The defeat means Carroll is now 14-20 in games not started by Wilson in his Seattle career.

More to the point, the defeat dropped Seattle five games behind Arizona in the NFC West, and four behind the second-place Rams.

The hope had been Seattle could tread water while Wilson was out.

But in also falling to 0-3 at home this year — all three decided in the waning moments or overtime — the Seahawks now have to hope they can beat 1-5 Jacksonville next Sunday and that Wilson can make a quick recovery to return by Nov. 14 at Green Bay and try to save the season. Or what can be salvaged, anyway.

“It’s really difficult because we’re so close to winning games,” Carroll said. “And we haven’t been able to do it at home for sure, which is a real shock to me. Shocked that we’re not able to do that. But we are still trying to get these games finished properly. And that means you don’t make the mistakes that give them a chance. You kick the ball. You don’t make the penalty and you don’t eat the football for losses when you are in the right position.”