Seahawks beat Saints 23-15
The New Orleans Saints wanted a chance to play the Seattle Seahaws in the playoffs to show that the last meeting between these two team was an anomaly. They wanted to repay the Hawks by eliminating them from the playoffs in what would have been the largest upset of the weekend.
Instead, the Saints met a hostile opponent in a hostile environment with hostile weather and it didn’t go well for them.
Let’s discuss the weather first. I have attended an awful lot of games, but I would have to say that Saturday’s Divisional Playoff matchup in Seattle was the worst weather I have ever seen at a game. I’ve been to much colder and I’ve seen snow, but I’ve never seen squall after squall pound a stadium with such heavy wind.
I’m surprised we didn’t see more turnovers in the game, especially fumbles. The game’s only turnover came when Michael Bennett knocked the ball out of Mark Ingram’s arm, recovering the fumble.
Heading into the playoffs Seattle’s offense had failed to convert turnovers into points. This time it was able to drive the ball into the end zone with two plays, including a 15-yard touchdown run by Marshawn Lynch who wouldn’t be denied.
The Seahawks should have had at least two, if not three interceptions, but players simply dropped them. I have to question the team’s decision to wear a new glove that they felt would be better in the rainy conditions. It didn’t seem to work very well.
Late in the fourth quarter, Kam Chancellor had a chance to all but end the game with an interception deep in Saints’ territory. The ball hit him right in the numbers, but he was unable to hold on. Instead, the Saints marched down the field and scored a touchdown followed by a converted two-point conversion for their first points in the game. That brought the Saints to within one score.
Luckily, late in the 4th quarter Marshawn Lynch broke out Beastmode Part Deux. It wasn’t nearly as impressive, but it all but sealed the game, or at least that’s how it seemed at the time. *I do want to make a note that on that play, Jermaine Kearse sealed the edge for Marshawn allowing him to break it outside.
I have to wonder if the new gloves were more slippery and that caused the poor tackling performance. If the gloves are more slippery on clothing material, that could easily contribute to missed tackles.
The offense looked pretty good when Percy Harvin was in the game. It really seemed to loosen everything up a bit as expected. Unfortunately, Percy didn’t see much action after being brutalized on two different occasions, knocking him out of the game both times. The final time it was very apparent Percy had suffered a concussion, and I’m hoping the extra day between games that will be enough to get him back on the field.
It was very clear that the Seahawks needed an upgrade at left guard, but it was very surprising to see them start rookie Michael Bowie and make James Carpenter inactive for the game. From what I saw it seemed to be the right move, though. I can’t wait to watch the all-22 to really see how he handled it.
How awesome is Steven Hauschka?
I mean seriously, going 3/3 on field goals with a 49-yard kick is a good night on any night, but on Saturday it was ridiculous.
The wind was blowing extremely hard and swirling, which made it difficult for any kicker. Shayne Graham hadn’t missed a field goal since joining the Saints and was 0/2 in those conditions.
All that said, I didn’t like everything about the game yesterday — not even close.
The Wilson chant is horrible in execution. I understand the concept, but anytime the offense is forced to beg the home-field crowd to quiet down, the fans are doing it wrong. Quite frankly it makes the 12th man look like uneducated fans. It looks like we are more concerned with a cute, quirky song then how our team plays on the field.
I’m not saying we should get rid of it completely, but it can be done much better. Instead of doing it as he runs on the field and stopping when the players are lining up to take the snap, the music should start as soon as the Seahawks get the ball. That means to start it as the return man of defender comes running off the field with the ball in their hand.
Then when Russell Wilson runs on the field, everyone can either give one short SEA-HAWKS or just a quick cheer and then let the offense get to work. The players won’t come out and say it in an interview, but I know they don’t appreciate us making their jobs more difficult.
Maybe it is the history, but I felt like the Saints were targeting the Seahawks in Saturday’s game. I don’t know if they have reinstated the bounty system, but it sure seemed like they were trying to hurt the Seahawks, especially their receivers.
I’m hoping that we see some fines handed down by the league.
The lack of pressure on Drew Brees through most of the game was a little disheartening. I expected the Seahawks to really challenge their rookie left tackle but, from what I have seen so far it didn’t seem like it. I will admit I haven’t gone back and watched the entire game, so my opinion might change a I go through it.
For the second time since league realignment, the Seahawks are hosting the NFC Championship game. The name of the venue may have changed, but hopefully the outcome is the same.