New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) points to the Seattle Seahawks defense during the second half at CenturyLink Field.

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Scoot: Saints and the lesson of teamwork

Scoot
September 23, 2019 - 12:45 pm
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Seismologists in the Pacific Northwest are accustomed to tracking the earth shaking in their part of the country, but Sunday afternoon, seismologists in the Seattle area detected the earth shaking throughout the WHO DAT Nation during the Saints - Seahawks game. 

Without their Hall of Fame QB Drew Brees, the Saints displayed the ultimate example of team effort when they beat the Seahawks and silenced the 12th Man in Seattle. With Teddy Bridgewater at QB, the Saints beat the Seahawks 33 - 27, but the game was not as close as the score might indicate. From the beginning, the Saints took it to the Seahawks on both sides of the line. Running back Alvin Kamara put on show as a great escape artist and Bridgewater, who seemed timid in the beginning, executed Sean Payton’s game plan to near perfection. And the Saints offensive line did their job.

But the Saints win over the Seahawks was really driven by the defense and special teams. Deonte Harris took a Seahawks punt and ran it for a touchdown. The Saints defense put the hurt on the Seahawks’ potent offense, and while QB Russell Wilson was elusive, the defense was sticky with the Seahawks.

It is also proper to mention that the officials in this game were fair to the Saints and may have missed a few calls that could easily gone against New Orleans. In contrast to last week’s game against the Rams in Los Angeles, a fumble was not blown dead and was allowed to play out this week. Even though it was close, the officials did the right thing and allowed the play to continue. That resulted in Saints defensive back Vonn Bell picking up the ball and running it in for a touchdown. 

With the Saints leading 13-7, the Seahawks had the ball fourth-and-1 on the New Orleans 40-yard line; the defense stuffed the run and the Saints took over. Not long after that, the Saints offense scored and New Orleans led the Seahawks 20-7 in Seattle!

Leading the Seahawks 33-14, the Saints seemed content to run down the clock, but that often leads to more conservative play and that can disrupt the rhythm that led to the lead in the first place. The Seahawks did launch a comeback, but the Saints never lost control.

Alvin Kamara was a superstar. Michael Thomas made great grabs. Punter Thomas Morstead nailed key punts. The offensive line and the defense were solid.

By beating an undefeated Seahawks team in Seattle with the advantage of the 12th Man, the Saints proved the power of teamwork. The players spent a week together after the loss to the Rams, and coach Payton built on the team unity we have been hearing so much about. Payton also designed a game plan around the ability of Bridgewater that had the Seahawks on their heels most of the game.

As great as Drew Brees is - the power of a team rising to the occasion and playing together was enough to overcome the absence of their leader. And that’s a lesson we can all learn. There are few positions in life that do not require teamwork.  In sales - if a presentation is successful and a client says “yes,” it started with a support staff that worked together to get the presentation to the point of being presented.

We have become a society of isolated individuals and easily lose sight of the team we are part of. Every team is made up of individuals, and the strength of any team can be no better than the sum of the individuals that make up the team. That goes for the Saints and it probably applies to your life, too.

Looking at the bigger picture - America is not acting like a team. We have groups of individuals fighting for recognition to the point where society - the team - suffers. The great political divide in America and the chasm between us is growing deeper. Political competition is part of the American way and the First Amendment insures our right to disagree, but when politicians respond to citizens by reflecting that deep divide, we cease to move forward as a country - as a team.

The Saints victory over the Seahawks reminds us of the power of teamwork - on a football field - in the workplace - and across America.

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