SEATTLE – In one of the few things that went right for the Saints in the first half of Monday night’s 34-7 setback to the Seattle Seahawks, tight end Jimmy Graham set a club record for receiving touchdowns in a season.
Graham had the Saints’ only score of the first half when he snared a 2-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees with 8:45 to play in the second quarter.
It was Graham’s 12th touchdown reception of the season, breaking the mark he shared with Joe Horn and Marques Colston.
Horn set the record of 11 TDs in 2004 and Colston and Graham matched it in 2007 and 2011, respectively, before Graham equaled it again in their last game at Atlanta on Nov. 21.
ANOTHER GOOSE EGG: The Seahawks pitched a shutout in the first quarter against the Saints, marking the eighth time in 12 games they did not allow a point in the opening period.
Through 12 games, the Seahawks, who were tied for second in scoring defense going into the game, have given up a league-low 16 points in the first period.
The only touchdown was scored by the Indianapolis Colts in the Seahawks’ only loss. Minnesota, St. Louis and Tennessee all had first-quarter field goals against the Seahawks.
STREAK ENDS: With the loss, the Saints had a streak of nine consecutive wins on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” — the longest active streak in the NFL — ended.
The Saints had not been defeated on a Monday night since dropping a 30-27 decision to the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 6, 2008 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Saints coach Sean Payton is now 18-7 in prime-time games since he took over in 2006.
INACTIVES: Defensive ends Keyunta Dawson (calf) and Glenn Foster (knee) topped the Saints’ list of inactives for Monday night’s game.
Dawson was added to the injury list late in the practice week, while Foster left the last game with the Falcons in the third quarter after injuring his knee.
The other inactives were WR Nick Toon, T Terron Armstead, RB Khiry Robinson, CB Trevin Wade and QB Ryan Griffin.
For the Seahawks, the only inactives of note were WR Percy Harvin, who has played in just one game because of a hip injury, and CB Brandon Browner, who has a groin problem.
INJURIES: For the Saints, tackle Zach Strief injured his left knee near the end of the third quarter and was replaced by Bryce Harris.
Seahawks tight end Kellen Davis was taken to the locker room in the second half to be evaluated for a concussion.
ADDING INSULT TO INJURY: The CenturyLink Field crowd, which was already in a frenzy after the Seahawks bolted to a quick 10-0 lead, really pumped up the volume when Marshawn Lynch’s 67-yard TD run against the Saints in the 2010 playoffs was shown on the video boards.
Lynch broke eight tackles on the play and finally stiff-armed former Saints cornerback Tracy Porter en route to the end zone. The noise in the stadium sparked seismic activity at a highway viaduct near the stadium and the run was dubbed “Beast Quake” for Lynch’s nickname.
KICKOFF CHANGED: The NFL announced Monday that the Saints’ road game against the St. Louis Rams on Dec. 15 has been switched from a noon start to 3:25 p.m.
In conjunction with flex scheduling for Sunday night games, the league can change kickoff times to accommodate broadcast patterns on Fox and CBS. The Cincinnati Bengals-Pittsburgh Steelers game remains in the NBC prime time slot that weekend.
LAGNIAPPE: The 20-point halftime deficit for the Saints on Monday night was their largest since 2007 when they trailed the Tampa Bay Bucs 21-0 after two quarters of their Week 2 game, a game they eventually lost 31-14. … Before Monday’s loss, Payton was 9-0 since 2009 and 11-4 overall — including playoff games — when he had more than the usual seven days to prepare for a game. The Saints last played on Nov. 21. … Professional golfer Fred Couples, a Seattle native, was given the honor of raising the “12th Man” flag above the west end of the stadium prior to the game. Couples was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in May. … The crowd of 68,387 was the largest in CenturyLink Field history.