Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril, right, causes New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) to fumble in the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in Seattle. Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett recovered the fumble and ran for a touchdown. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)The Associated Press
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, left, pushes off New Orleans Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis, right, as Wilson keeps the ball in the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)The Associated Press
Seattle Seahawks tight end Zach Miller (86) scores a touchdown as New Orleans Saints' Curtis Lofton (50) and Ramon Humber (53) look on in the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund)The Associated Press
SEATTLE – Michael Bennett returned Drew Brees' fumble 22 yards for a touchdown, Russell Wilson threw a 2-yard scoring pass to Zach Miller and the Seattle Seahawks led the New Orleans Saints 17-0 after the first quarter Monday night.
Seattle can wrap up a playoff berth with a victory over the Saints, and the matchup between the top two teams in the NFC was anything but competitive in the quarter.
After Seattle forced a three-and-out on the Saints' opening possession, Wilson hit fullback Michael Robinson for 21 yards, ran for 10 more and completed a pass to Golden Tate for 12 yards. New Orleans managed to hold inside the red zone, and the Seahawks settled for Steven Hauschka's 26-yard field goal.
Cliff Avril sacked Brees on the second play of the Saints' ensuing possession and knocked the ball from his grasp. Bennett caught the ball and raced into the end zone.
After another three-and-out, the Saints left tight end Zach Miller uncovered as Wilson connected for a 60-yard gain to the 4. Three plays later, Wilson and Miller hooked up again on the 2-yard scoring pass.
Playing without two of its top three cornerbacks, the Seattle defense had no problems keeping the high-powered Saints in check. The Saints managed only 30 yards of total offense on 12 plays in the quarter.
Wilson completed 6 of 8 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown.
Brees was 6 of 8 for 31 yards.