NFL Divisional Round Preview: New Orleans Saints vs Seattle Seahawks

Saints vs Seahawks Divisional Round preview

1/11/14 in NFL   |   jakeryanbrown   |   28 respect

(6) New Orleans Saints (12-5) vs (1) Seattle Seahawks (13-3) – Saturday, 4:35PM at CenturyLink Field (45 degrees, 70% rain)
 
Dec 2, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) shake hands after the game at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the Saints 34-7. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsEverybody questioned the Saints and their inability to win on the road, especially in the playoffs.  Last week, they silenced their haters when they went to Philadelphia and beat the Eagles for their first playoff win in franchise history.  The celebration didn’t last long, because Seattle is no Philadelphia.  The Seahawks are the best home team in the NFL and are looking to win a sixth straight playoff home game and their 16th victory in 17 games at CenturyLink Field. 
 
The last time the Saints and Seahawks met, the game got ugly early.  In the December 2nd matchup in Seattle, the Seahawks dominated early and never looked back in a 34-7 blowout of the Saints.  It’s a new season now and Drew Brees is going after his second Super Bowl title.  The future Hall of Fame quarterback will have to do it against the NFL leader in total defense that held him to just 147 yards.  Brees had the help of his running game in the 26-24 win last week with Mark Ingram filling in for an injured Pierre Thomas, who is questionable for this NFC Divisional battle. 
 
It seems like nobody is giving the Saints any chance in this game, but the playoffs are a fresh slate.  Dec 29, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) runs with the ball against the St. Louis Rams during the third quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY SportsThe dismantling in their early December matchup is in the past and there is no question this game will be a lot closer.  The key for the Saints will be containing one of the best running backs in the game in Marshawn Lynch.  They struggled mightily against the run all season and they have more than just Lynch to worry about.  Russell Wilson has the pocket presence and poise of a veteran, not a sophomore QB.  His ability to escape pressure and run with the football makes him that much more elusive and hard to stop.  New Orleans strength was containing the pass this season, but the Seahawks biggest strength comes on the ground. 
 
Can the Saints shock the world Saturday?  They could…but they won’t.  The Seahawks are the best all-around team in the NFL right now and with their crowd set to break records at unheard of decimal levels. Rain will also play a factor, which gives the Seahawks a major edge.  It wouldn’t be the upset of the century if the Saints win, but the Seahawks won’t let their season end in front of their home fans.  Wilson drives them down the field to victory late to send the Seahawks back to Seattle for the NFC Championship.
 
PREDICTION:
SEAHAWKS-27 SAINTS-23 
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