words // Brandon Richard
When trying to single out the best team in the NFL at this point, it would be difficult to overlook the Seattle Seahawks, who made their most impressive statement of the season at home against the New Orleans Saints last night.
In front of a raucous crowd that set a Guinness World Record for noise, the ‘Hawks outplayed the Saints in every way imaginable en route to a surprisingly lopsided 34-7 victory. Quarterback Russell Wilson led the way (and threw his name in the MVP discussion) by completing 22 of his 30 passes for 310 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also was the team’s leading rusher with 47 yards on 8 carries.
Equally as important was Seattle’s vaunted defense, which simply shut down one of today’s most potent offenses. In the first quarter, Cliff Avril strip-sacked Drew Brees, which led to a 33-yard touchdown return by Michael Bennett. Brees passed for just 147 yards, his lowest total of the season.
This Sunday, the Seahawks travel to San Francisco, where they’ll play the 49ers in a marquee game with all kinds of playoff implications.
In other Week 13 games, the Detroit Lions took control of the NFC North after beating the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving; the Denver Broncos put some distance between themselves in the Kansas City Chiefs after a win in Arrowhead; Nick Foles continued his hot streak in an Eagles win over the Cardinals; the Carolina Panthers eased by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their eighth-straight win; Tom Brady and the New England Patriots rallied again in Houston; the San Francisco 49ers slowed down the St. Louis Rams in Michael Crabtree’s return; the Dallas Cowboys edged by the Oakland Raiders to maintain their NFC East lead; the Cincinnati Bengals topped the San Diego Chargers to remain ahead of the pack in the AFC North; and the New York Giants kept their playoff hopes alive with a win in Washington Sunday night.
Russell Wilson // Nike Lunar Superbad Pro
Marshawn Lynch // Nike Vapor Talon Elite
Reggie Bush // Nike CJ81 Elite TD
Lance Dunbar // Nike Alpha Pro TD
Joe Flacco // Nike Huarache 4
Rob Gronkowski // Nike Zoom Hyperfly
Ace Sanders // Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly 2
Darius Heyward-Bey // Nike Lunar Superbad Pro
Greg Jennings // Nike Super Speed TD
Brian Hartline // Nike Vapor Pro Low
LeSean McCoy // Nike Lunar Superbad Pro
Steve Smith // Under Armour Mercenary 2
Matt Ryan // Nike Zoom Code Elite Turf
Michael Crabtree // Air Jordan 12 PE
Rey Maualuga // Under Armour Nitro Icon
Andre Brown // Nike Alpha Pro Low
images via Yahoo / Getty Images (Al Bello, Stephen Dunn, Jonathan Ferrey, Hannah Foslien, Grant Halverson, Bob Levey, Andy Lyons, McClatchy Tribute, Patrick McDermott, Maddie Meyer, Gregory Shamus, Rick Stewart, Matt Sullivan) / USA Today (Matthew Emmons, Kyle Terada)