6 things to know about Week 5’s Saints vs. Seahawks game

We’re on to Week 5 and a high-stakes home game at the Caesars Superdome between the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, and the Saints really can’t afford to drop their fourth loss in a row. That’s concerning against a red-hot Seahawks team that just scored more points in one game (48) than they had in three previous matchups put together (47). Here’s everything you need to know about the game, including broadcast information, referee assignment, opposing QB and players to watch:

Game information

506sports.com
506sports.com

506sports.com

The Saints-Seahawks game will be broadcast in TV markets represented in yellow on this map from 506sports.com, largely being limited to Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and parts of south Alabama and the Florida panhandle. It’ll also be shown in much of the Pacific Northwest, stretching from Washington and Oregon down into northern California, most of Idaho, and large swathes of Montana, with parts of west Iowa also getting the game.

When: Sunday, Oct. 9 at 12:00 p.m. CT

Where: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, La.

TV: FOX

Referee assignment

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Allen and his crew have been assigned to Week 5’s Saints-Seahawks game, per Football Zebras. New Orleans is 4-3 in games Allen has refereed, working with him most recently in 2021’s loss to the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving. His crew are averaging 11.3 penalty flags per game this season, fourth-lowest in the NFL, but 10 of those 34 fouls have been false starts. That’s been an issue for the Saints, who are tied for sixth-most around the league in false start penalties (6 in 4 games). Pre-snap procedural issues have plagued them early this season.

Last meeting: Saints 13, Seahawks 10

This was an ugly game on a rainy Monday night in Seattle, but it marked the first time Jameis Winston and Alvin Kamara got in sync. Kamara caught 10 of 11 passes from Winston to gain 128 yards and score a touchdown reception, also running 20 times for 51 yards, but they’ve struggled to recapture that magic in the time sense with both players missing time while injured. We’ll see if either (or both) of them can return to play this week.

Demario Davis and the Saints defense got the better of the Geno Smith-led Seahawks offense, sacking him five times and limiting him to 12 completions (from 22 attempts) for 167 yards and a score. Davis was very effective on blitzes, sacking Smith twice and hitting him three other times while breaking up a pass and racking up 10 tackles (7 solo, 4 tackles for loss). They’ve got to be on their toes against a Seattle offense that just racked up 555 yards from scrimmage and scored 41 points (plus a defensive touchdown), going 9-of-12 on third downs.

New Orleans has gone 9-6 against the Seahawks in the regular season, but Seattle has won both of their postseason meetings.

Seahawks QB: Geno Smith

Smith was just named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after going 23-of-30 for 320 yards against the Detroit Lions, flinging two touchdown passes and running 7 times for 49 yards and another score. He’s been impressive through the first four weeks and currently leads the NFL by completing 77.3% of his pass attempts, posting the highest adjusted net yards per attempt of his career (7.36; this metric accounts for turnovers, sacks, and scoring plays). Most importantly, Smith has only been sacked 6 times in his first four games while throwing 2 interceptions with a single fumble. He’s protecting the ball and making plays.

Seahawk players to watch

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

WR Tyler Lockett: Lockett is one of the first receivers to reach 300 yards through the air this season (he’s up to 302), and he’s a tough assignment to defend. Even when covered well, he’s catching 81.8% of the passes thrown his way.

DE Uchenna Nwosu: Nwosu was a nice free agent signing for Seattle, currently leading the team in quarterback pressures (15) with a couple of sacks and several pass breakups.

WR DK Metcalf: Metcalf is one of the NFL’s premiere vertical threats, already picking up 70 yards after the catch this season, and his physical style of play makes for a big-time matchup against Marshon Lattimore. He’s caught the longest reception of the year for Seattle so far (54 yards).

RB Rashaad Penny: Seattle’s leading rusher is picking up yards at a furious clip (6.0 per carry), gaining more ground than all of his teammates combined (292 rushing yards against 167).

CB Tariq Woolen: The fastest player in the 2022 NFL draft has put his wheels to good use, intercepting two passes this season and returning one 40 yards to score a defensive touchdown last week.

RT Abraham Lucas: The rookie second-round pick still hasn’t allowed a sack through his first four starts, but he’ll face a serious challenge in Cameron Jordan, who has exclusively rushed off the left end spot for the Saints early this year.

LB Jordyn Brooks: Brooks is turning into a fine linebacker, leading Seattle with 15 defensive stops and 30 total tackles. But he’s missed 5 times and can be beaten in the open field.

LT Charles Cross: Cross has been more vulnerable at left tackle, with the first rounder yielding three sacks through his first four games. It’s a big opportunity for Marcus Davenport to beat up on a less-experienced opponent.

Injury report

Seattle’s managing injuries to cornerback Justin Coleman (calf) and linebacker Darryl Johnson (foot), with Johnson expected to miss some time. But otherwise they’re in fine shape.

That’s not the case for the Saints. We’re waiting on updates to running back Alvin Kamara (rib), wide receiver Michael Thomas (toe), quarterback Jameis Winston (back/ankle/hip), left guard Andrus Peat (concussion), and free safety Marcus Maye (rib), as well as defensive back P.J. Williams (thigh), who was hurt in Week 4. That’s a lot of starters and key contributors on ice.

1-3 isn't the end of the road, but it doesn't get easier from here

The Saints have started the season with a 1-3 record nine times before, but they’ve only turned it around to reach the postseason twice. And you’ll find just one winning record in the franchise history books after that kind of start (back in 2000). So their season isn’t over just yet, but you get an idea of how long the odds are of them righting this ship.

So what’s at stake in Week 5? If the Saints lose to the visiting Seahawks they’ll drop to 1-4, and they’ve never finished better than 8-8 after doing that before. Their worst finish was the 3-13 season in 1999. If they win, things improve a bit at 2-3 (it’s what jumpstarted both of their previous playoff bids after a 1-3 start), but it’s still rough going. They’ve dug quite a hole for themselves.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire