The New Orleans Saints entered Monday night's game against the Seattle Seahawks only 1 game back of first place in the NFC. They left Seattle two games back, but the gap feels so much wider.

New Orleans had heard they weren't a good road team, they couldn't win outdoors against a quality opponent, they couldn't play well in cold weather, and so on and so forth. After getting trounced by the Seahawks 34-7 Monday night, the Saints will hear the doubts even louder from their critics, regardless of whether or not quarterback Drew Brees wants to hear it.

"Since 2009, we have the most road wins of any team in the NFL. Since 2006, we have the second most behind the New England Patriots...Nobody has really done their research obviously," explained Brees. "We don’t prove anybody wrong that’s saying that (road struggles) by tonight’s performance."

Seattle's defense opened the game by forcing the Saints into a 3 and out, setting a tone for the rest of the night. On the following New Orleans possession, the Seahawks D picked off a deflected Brees pass and returned for a TD, taking an early 10-0 lead. By the time the first quarter ended, the Seahawks had jumped to an impressive 17-0 lead.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson often expresses his admiration for Brees. Monday night, Wilson played like an MVP, while Brees failed to throw for 200 yards for the first time in 43 games.

Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Wilson finished with 22-30 for 310 yards and 3 TDs, sporting an impressive 139.6 QB rating. Brees was a bit long on several throws, going 23-38 for 147 yards and a touchdown.

"Attention to details is where it's at," Wilson said. "We had a great balanced attack. We made some huge plays."

New Orleans rushing attack was lackluster, managed just 44 yards on 17 carries. Trailing 27-7 at halftime, the Saints had to abandon most of the run game in the second half.

Seattle rushed for 127 yards, led by Wilson who had 47.

"The fact of the matter is we took one on the chin today. We got outplayed today. They played great and they made a lot of plays. We didn’t," said Brees. "They deserve a lot of credit by defensively and offensively...we're a better team than what we showed."

They'll need to be Sunday night. New Orleans (9-3) is still in second place in the NFC, but have the same record as divisional rival Carolina. The Panthers (9-3) come to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for a huge game that could decide the NFC South division. Kickoff is set for 7:30.