New Orleans will get a rematch with the Seahawks.
That’s their reward for knocking off the Philadelphia Eagles 26-24 today.
Seattle won the last meeting 34-7 in week 13 by building an early lead and dominating on defense.
Russell Wilson also had his best game of the season.
The Saints keyed in on stopping Marshawn Lynch, which helped Wilson considerably.
We’ll see if they come with a different plan next week — considering they could be without each of their starting defensive backs.
At times tonight Nick Foles had 6-7 seconds in the pocket and made them pay. Rob Ryan’s defense was nearly impenetrable in the first half, but struggled badly in the second as the injuries stacked up.
The pass rush was pretty non-existent and only had success when Foles pushed his luck.
It was interesting to see how easy the read-option fooled the Saints, even with a slower-than-average quarterback handing it off to LeSean McCoy.
In the week 13 meeting Wilson was Seattle’s leading rusher with 47 yards (Lynch managed 45, Robert Turbin 34).
New Orleans ran the ball well today, something they struggled to do against the Seahawks. They managed a paltry 44 total rushing yards.
Taking the run away again next week will be crucial — even if limiting Drew Brees remains the greatest challenge.
How do you do that? Tight coverage, get the pass rush rolling, limit the damage with Jimmy Graham and force turnovers. In his last three road games, Brees has thrown six interceptions with a 1-2 record.
Having an impact on defense early is crucial — as we saw at Century Link and also in week 15 when St. Louis carried a fast start to win comfortably 27-16 against the Saints.
The result in Philly also means San Francisco can only set up a NFC West encounter in the playoffs by winning in Green Bay tomorrow and then Carolina next week.
That won’t be easy. If the Niners manage it, watch out.
They’re already coming into the post-season as the NFL’s hot hand. Winning two very difficult road games would further emphasise that.
Enough talk about San Francisco anyway. Let’s watch this instead…