Seahawks Look to Send Saints Marching… Again
The Seattle Seahawks get back to action this week after a much-needed bye.
The Hawks welcome the New Orleans Saints back to town in a rematch of a Dec. 2 game in which the team from the Northwest thoroughly dominated in absolutely every aspect. Seattle’s heir of home invincibility has since been snapped with a Week 16 loss versus Arizona, but there is still no doubting that the Seahawks at home are a monumental challenge for any team.
New Orleans (11-5) at Seattle (13-3)
When: 4:35 PM ET, Saturday, January 11, 2014
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
Saints vs. Seahawks Betting Lines from Bovada
New Orleans Saints +7 1/2 -110 Ov 48 -110
Seattle Seahawks -7 1/2 -110 Un 48 -110
The New Orleans Saints, to a man were looking at getting another crack at the Seahawks in Seattle. The Saints were humiliated a month ago on Monday night in a game they registered their lowest point total in six years; they gained a total of 188 yards that night and were completely thrown off their game plan in every aspect.
The Saints road woes are well documented – just 3-5 on the year including their loss in December in the Pacific Northwest. But New Orleans answered a few questions last week in an outdoor, road playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Defense and special teams were the difference in that game – Shayne Graham kicked three field goals and Rob Ryan’s defense held Shady McCoy and DeSean Jackson in check while Drew Brees did enough by guiding his team to some crucial late drives in the win.
The Saints enter Saturday’s game with the fourth-ranked overall offense (19th in rushing and second in passing). They showed a little more balance last week, which could help them minimize the effectiveness of what is certain to be an amped crowd. However, Drew Brees and how he plays will determine the outcome. He threw for 147 yards in Seattle in December and his receivers were completely taken out of the game by one of the best secondaries in the NFL.
The Saints’ defense also must come up with an answer for Russell Wilson, who passed for 310 yards, three touchdowns and rushed for 47 yards in their earlier meeting. The Saints had been decent on the defensive side of the ball (No. 4 overall – 19th against the run and second against the pass), but this unit looked totally over-matched each and every time that Wilson and company stepped onto the field.
The Seahawks have waited two weeks to get back on the field, and it looks like the extra week will allow Percy Harvin to suit up. He is a difference maker all by himself and certainly adds an incredible element to an already balanced and unpredictable offense.
Seattle would probably do best to get back to Marshawn Lynch, who struggled down the stretch. He has a real chance to get back on track against the leagues 19th-ranked run defense, and his legendary run against New Orleans in the playoffs is still fresh in the minds of all Seahawk fans – Lynch could be a huge cog Saturday.
If not, Wilson and the underrated receivers could have a field day again. But keep in mind, this New Orleans defense did a masterful job of holding the Eagles in check last week.
Now for Seattle’s defense. The best unit in the NFL all season long, this team had arguably their best all-around game against these Saints Dec. 2. Not only did they shut down one of the most potent offenses in the game, but they scored a defensive TD as well.
There are absolutely zero worries about the Seahawks defensively – they have come to play each and every week and ended the season as the best in the land.
Dave B’s Free Betting Prediction:
A Few Trends To Consider:
• Under is 7-1 in NO last 8 games overall.
• Under is 7-1 in NO last 8 vs. NFC.
• Over is 8-2-1 in NO last 11 playoff games.
• SEA are 12-3 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
• SEA are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 vs. NFC.
• SEA are 37-17-1 ATS in their last 55 home games.
The Saints definitely have some added motivation ahead of Saturday’s game – to avenge their worst loss of the season. But you simply can’t practice for what a game at CenturyLink throws at you. The crowd noise is one thing, the relentless defense is another and the balanced and lethal nature of the offense is just as important.
If this game were held in New Orleans, I would be saying the same thing – nobody goes into the Hawks’ building and beats them in such a pivotal game.
Seattle has a knack for taking an opponent’s will, and I think they do it again Saturday as the Saints fail to exorcise the Pacific Northwest demons.