Seahawks will meet the Saints in the playoffs

January 4th, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

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…

23 Responses to “Seahawks will meet the Saints in the playoffs”

  1. Tomahawk says:

    Can’t wait for next Saturday……especially to see Percy (hopefully) out there as an X factor. I typically worry about beating the same team twice in one season, but the Hawks seem to have their number right now.

    Does anyone remember if we had Okung and Breno the first time we played the Saints? The only guy I worry about on that defense is Cameron Jordan.

  2. Stuart says:

    We had Okung and Breno back I think. It would be simply fantastic to Harvin available to play, even just 15 plays. A big key for us against the Saints next week will be getting off to a fast start. We need to come out smoking and get the 12′s going bananas.

    The Saints win today was their first ever road playoff victory, going back to 1967. I cannot wait until next Saturday!!! My wife has been warned about how loud I will be for the game.

    Go Hawks!

    PS-Rob, you are the man! Thank you for putting out so much information, I love it, we all love it.

  3. House says:

    Next Saturday is going to be an interesting game. Ingram/Robinson/Sproles seemed to chew up some yards. We will need to play our “D” and hopefully we can convert on 3rd downs. Willson and Harvin both could potentially play and that would be huge for us!

  4. Beanhawk says:

    In general, I think this was the best thing to happen. I always hesitate to “prefer” a certain team in the playoffs (is it a jinx?), but postponing a date with SF is okay in my book. Plus, an SEA-SF game with the Super Bowl on the line at C-Link would be epic!

    I think we will see a better game from the Saints coming up, but I still like our chances if our offense can show up to a certain degree. Looking forward to a raucous one next weekend.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I agree with you. I prefer playing the Saints at thus stage. They are a good team but not on are level. Besides the Panthers may take the 49ers out for us (if Green Bay can’t) so why spend our team playing a physical team that could cause injuries? I see a very bearable team in the Saints. The only change in Strategy I could suggest is to down the football during kickoffs. It isn’t worth the risk of fumbling on the returns. I might change my mind if Harvin or Micheal (where are you????) returned, but then we run risk of Harvin reinjuring himself. I say down it and take it on the 20, a solid Patriot strategy.

  5. CC says:

    We all know our D is better than the Eagles, so it will all be about execution. I think our D will be fine – the Saints will likely get more than 7 points, so the offense is going to have to step up big time. I would really like to see some quick passes early on to get the Saints D back on their heels a bit – then Marshawn can just run.

  6. Eli says:

    Hey Rob,

    Any thoughts on Martavis Bryant coming out of Clemson? 6’5″ and 200 lbs reminds me of Brandon Coleman. 40 time is expected to be in the 4.4 – 4.6 range from what I’ve seen online.

    • Rob Staton says:

      He’s a bit of a body catcher. Not quite the upside of Coleman for me. But worth a shot in the mid/later rounds if they can’t get a big man early.

      • Eli says:

        Sounds about right. Quite a body but a work in progress. Thanks

      • KyleT says:

        Does Coleman catch with his hands?

        • Rob Staton says:

          It’s something he can do better, but he’s also not played in an offense where it’d be fair to judge him on that. Would’ve been very different with Tajh Boyd at Clemson.

          Coleman is an athletic freak of nature. Not many guys can do what he does at 6-6 and 220lbs. You draft him to mould him into another Josh Gordon.

  7. Colin says:

    Andy Dalton, looking the part once again. Thank you Pete for not allowing the Seahawks to be tainted by his ineptitude.

    Couldn’t ask for a better match up Saturday. As long as the D line is getting after it, I think the Hawks will be just fine. Would really like to see some early points, an opening drive TD would be lethal.

    Just don’t give them anything cheap, and I think we’ll move on.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’ll never forget Andy Dalton on Gruden’s QB camp.

      When asked to draw up his favourite play, it was just four wide receivers all running downfield.

      So, so glad we’re not stuck with him.

      • CC says:

        I remember watching that and thinking WHAT? He’s a good QB but he has a long way to go before he is great.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I don’t think he’ll ever get there. They’ve given him everything on offense — an elite WR, two first round TE’s, a second round RB, loads of supporting WR’s and they’ve invested in the OL.

          This is Andy Dalton. Forever destined to be completely average.

  8. Austin says:

    I’m curious to see how much not having KJ covering Graham will change things this time around.

    • CC says:

      I’m wondering if Irvin is up for the challenge – he certainly has the speed and size, I just wonder if he has enough experience in coverage to step up. I think Smith can cover him though.

    • Rob Staton says:

      K.J. Wright is a huge loss. Essentially he sniffed out all of the screens to Sproles, just completely shut down that aspect of the Saints offense.

  9. Austin says:

    I’m guessing then that rather the emphasis being placed on preventing Graham from catching the ball, that they will instead strategize and emphasize ol Bam Bam to be in place to punish going his way.

  10. Brian says:

    “We’ll see if they come with a different plan next week — considering they could be without each of their starting defensive backs.”

    And Kenny Vaccaro is out for the season too. I hope we see a lot of Roman Harper.

  11. austin says:

    With KJ out any thoughts on what the Seahawks do to cover Graham and control the screen game with Sproles? Smith and Irvin are both fast enough to do well in this area but I havent studied the tape enough to know how they’ve done this year against those plays.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I suspect Smith gets the job of looking after Sproles. It’s a concern though, because KJ had his best game as a Seahawk that night IMO. Covering Graham will be a nightmare for whoever gets that job. We’ll have to accept he’s going to get catches and limit the damage.

  12. austin says:

    I still think if the Saints struggle to run the ball or Seattle gets a lead they have a really tough time winning this game. Brees will be better but no way he kills our secondary and playing from behind we can attack the offensive line as well.