Seahawks Tight End Jimmy Graham Returns to New Orleans “On a Real Ascent”
Before the NFL season began delivering all of its inevitable ebbs and flows, the most obvious story line to Sunday’s Seattle-New Orleans game was a verdict on the Jimmy Graham-Max Unger trade.
But while the return of Graham to the stadium he called home from 2010-14 as he became one of the most productive tight ends in recent NFL history still looms large, there is no shortage of other points of interest in Sunday’s 10 a.m. Pacific time kickoff.
Chief among them, can the Seattle offense score a touchdown? And can the defense overcome any hangover from the 95 snaps (including five nullified by penalty) it had to play last Sunday at Arizona — largely because the offense couldn’t move — to contain a Drew Brees-led New Orleans passing attack that leads the NFL?
Seattle middle linebacker Bobby Wagner professed his usual confidence this week about the Seahawks’ ability to counter a Saints offense that averages 339.3 yards passing.
“They’ve been very successful kind of spreading everything around,” Wagner said. “But they haven’t played us yet.”
The game pits some intriguing contrasts on both sides — the best defense in the NFL in terms of points allowed (Seattle’s at 14) against the third-highest scoring offense (New Orleans at 29.3) and the worst defense in the NFL (New Orleans is allowing 32.5 points per game) against a Seattle offense ranked 28th in scoring (18.5).
Something figures to give, with one of the four units inevitably outplaying its ranking.
Graham undoubtedly hopes he can use his 6-foot-7 frame to lift the Seahawks offense after last Sunday’s debacle, when Seattle had just five first downs and 130 yards at the end of regulation, having never moved past midfield on its own until overtime.