seahawks

Divisional Round Endgame: Blueprint for victory – Saints vs. Seahawks

Seahawks keys to success

I should be excited about today’s game against the New Orleans Saints but I am not.  I cannot shake this feeling I have and this game scares me.

Maybe it is because the Seattle Seahawks are the favorites to win this game and advance to the NFC Championship game or maybe it is because this team has been struggling on offense as of late.

Mostly I think it has to do with the fact that we have already seen this team succumb to over-confidence this season.

The most import thing for the Seattle Seahawks today will be avoiding arrogance.  If they go into the game feeling like they need to play good football to win then they should be able to handle the Saints.  On the other hand, if they have been reading their hype or thinking they will own the Saints like they did in the last meeting they could be in trouble.

The Seahawks play much better with a chip on their shoulder, they always have done better as the underdog.

To be completely honest I think we prefer that role as a city as well.

It looks like weather is going to be a major factor in today’s game.  It will be a tough day for both offenses to throw the ball in the rainy windy conditions.  Looking at the forecast on Thursday night they were calling for sustained winds of 20+ MPH with gusts of 50+.

The Seattle Seahawks should be able to take advantage of that with their number 1 ranked defense.  They are a group that pride themselves on taking the ball away which could lead to some scoring opportunities for the offense.

Seattle’s offense and special teams will need to make sure they don’t turn the ball over and give the Saints good field position to work with.

PRESSURE

The defense needs to get pressure on Drew Brees.  Even with poor passing conditions Drew Brees can still pick a defense apart if he has enough time to do it.

The Saints will be starting a rookie left tackle (Terron Armstead) who will only be starting for the 4th time in his career.  He has been anything but solid since being put in the starting lineup.

The defense needs to get pressure on Drew Brees.

The defense needs to get pressure on Drew Brees.

Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn should recognize his lack of experience and make his life difficult by challenging him early and often.  He can do this a number of ways including rotating Seattle’s plethora of pass rushers at him and overloading his side with blitzes.

Terron has never started a game in Seattle which, as we all know, has a tendency to throw players off their game.

Last week the Saints ran the ball down the Eagles’ throat to win their Wildcard matchup.  I have heard a lot of analysts thinking that is how they are going to attack the Seahawks.  I honestly don’t think that is how they will despite the weather.

They saw a weakness in the Eagles defense and were opportunistic but they aren’t a very good running team and they know it.

Saints Could keep it close..maybe

I expect the Saints to attack the middle of the field under the safeties and if they get a break in the weather running a lot of go routes.  Brees does an excellent job moving safeties out of the way with his eyes so it will be important for Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor to be aware of this.

Right about now it would be nice to have KJ Wright back in the lineup to cover Jimmy Graham but he’s still a no-go.

Harv On!

However, the Seahawks have an offensive x-factor back, if we can even really call it “back.”  Percy Harvin will be in the lineup for only the second time this season and from everything I have heard he is 100% ready to go out and play.

Hopefully his hip is up for the challenge because he really could be the difference maker this week.

After 4 weeks of offensive struggles, especially on third down, Percy will open things up just by being on the field.  He will force the defense to dedicate more resources to coverage giving them less pass rushers.

It also keeps them from loading the box to stop the run.

The Saints will also be forced to roll coverage towards Percy freeing up Seattle’s other receivers.  It will be up to players like Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin to take advantage of the opportunity.

I expect a low scoring game with the Seahawks coming out on top.  Seahawks win 13-10

Seahawks advance to host the NFC Championship game.

Go Seahawks!

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About Brett Bivens

Born and raised in Spokane. Moved to Seattle in 2006. A Seahawks fan since he can remember, Seahawks season ticket holder for 5 years!. He blogs, tweets and bleeds blue and green. 12th Man For Life! Connect with Brett today!
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