Seahawks survive late Saints rally to advance to NFC title game

1/11/14 in NFL   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Blog Photo - Seahawks survive late Saints rally to advance to NFC title gameThe Seahawks-Saints Divisional Playoff tilt was a weird one. It felt like Seattle dominated the entire game, but the Saints had a chance for a final play to tie it at the end until a very good player made a very stupid decision.

To set it up, New Orleans had just scored with 26 seconds left to make it 23-15 Seahawks. They then recovered the onside kick. After a few plays, Drew Brees hit Marques Colston (who caught the touchdown and recovered the onside kick) at around the Seattle 37. Step out of bounds and the Saints get one more chance at the spot that gives them more of a chance than a Hail Mary. Instead, as you can see by the picture, Colston inexplicably threw a forward pass. The resulting penalty ended the game. Seahawks win.

Before that, Seattle dominated the first half while the Saints had things happen like the punter taking a football to the groin, and a missed field goal due to laces out. At the half, and after three, the Seahawks led 16-0. The problem is after that, the Seattle offense was nonexistent. Until their final possession, the Seahawks gained 52 yards total and punted 5 times. Russell Wilson was 2/10 in the second half.

While the Seahawks struggled, the Saints clawed back in with a score early in the fourth, plus a two point conversion to make it 16-8. It looked like they'd get a real chance to tie it up after this play reminiscent of the Auburn play vs. Georgia. However, the drive stalled from there, and Sean Payton decided to try a 48 yard field goal against the wind instead of going for it on 4th and 15. That decision didn't end well, as the field goal was completely shanked.

Seattle got the ball back and finally did something on offense. A risky third down pass call worked as Doug Baldwin made a fantastic catch. Sean Payton was all but forced to challenge, and the loss took away his final timeout (the bigger problem being the two they blew on the previous drive). On the very next play, Marshawn Lynch ran it into the end zone to make it 23-8, setting up the finish.

The Saints season ends with a bit of a bitter taste, but the Sean Payton/Drew Brees combination should keep them in the conversation for a few more years, even if today was neither of their best moments.

The Seahawks move on to host the NFC Championship Game. If they are to win it, their offense, and Russell Wilson, will have to improve. The Saints are not known for good defense, but they shut Seattle down pretty well. The Panthers and Niners both have better defense. Seattle's defense may be even better, but they will need to score some points if they are to be Super Bowl bound.
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

1/12/14   |   Jess   |   34288 respect

If the Seahawks don't pick things up next week, they won't beat the Niners. I'm happy though, that unlike a  couple of other squeakers in the regular season, the team and Pete are recognizing where mistakes were made and know they need to make some changes. I'm f***ing sick of Darrell Bevell and his play-calling, too. The defense did fairly well, but they did drop a couple of INT's and allow quite a few explosive plays. It wasn't their best game either. Time to get serious, guys. 

1/12/14   |   JenX63   |   32367 respect

Wilson only had 9 completions. Seems this game was won by the Seattle defense. I get why Jess is suspect. That offense really needs to step it up. Congrats to the Seahawks!

1/12/14   |   orangemen90   |   5785 respect

Agreed... But the Panthers and 49ers both their issues.. but that is for another blog...