Seahawks beat up Saints in battle of top NFC teams

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By Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Russell Wilson was so impressed with the way Seattle prepared for its showdown against New Orleans that he made a point of texting coach Pete Carroll about it.

That's just how Wilson is wired and partly why the Seahawks were the first team in the NFL to clinch a playoff spot with their 34-7 manhandling of the Saints on Monday night.

"That preparation was big," Wilson said. "I really think it showed up tonight."

Seattle is the first team bound for the postseason. They need to go 2-2 in their final four games to wrap up home-field advantage and make the NFC playoffs go through Seattle.

Wilson finished with 310 yards passing and attempted only three passes in the fourth quarter for 13 yards. His first three quarters were so good he could have become a spectator in the fourth. He threw touchdown passes of 2 yards to Zach Miller and 4 yards to Doug Baldwin in the first half as Seattle built a 27-7 lead. Wilson added a pinball 8-yard TD pass to Derrick Coleman in the third quarter.

Wilson completed 22 of 30 passes and finished with a quarterback rating of 139.6. He is 14-0 at home and has 22 regular-season wins in his first two seasons, tied for the most ever by a second-year QB.

"They definitely played the run well tonight, we didn't run the ball as well as we'd like," Carroll said. "It allowed us to hit a bunch of other stuff."

New Orleans (9-3) again failed to earn a signature road victory to prove it can win outdoors on the road late in the season. Drew Brees finished 23 of 38 for 147 yards. Jimmy Graham had three catches for 42 yards. Darren Sproles led New Orleans with seven catches, many of them on check downs. The seven points matched the fewest scored by the Saints since Sean Payton became coach in 2006 and the 188 total yards were the fewest in his coaching tenure.

The Saints were just as flustered by their defense and the inability to slow Wilson.

"I don't even know what to tell you. I don't even know what happened out there," Saints linebacker Junior Galette said. "We better watch the films and see what we can adjust."