New Orleans Saints-Seattle Seahawks Preview: The Tortoise v. The Hare

Micheal Robinson@nyyrobinsonSenior Analyst IIJanuary 8, 2011

Saints Reggie Bush with Seahawks Matt Hasselbeck
Saints Reggie Bush with Seahawks Matt Hasselbeck

The 7-9 NFC West Champions are a joke, right?

The only team in NFL history with a losing record in the playoffs, and now they have to face the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints (11-5).

The Seahawks want the world to know that they belong here and where they can shove the 10-to-1 odds of winning the game.

Before we look at this game, let's look how the Saints have done on the road recently.

Two weeks ago, they beat the Atlanta Falcons in the last minutes of the game at the Georgia Dome, 17-14.

The week before that, they lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 24-30.

On December 5, they only beat the Cincinnati Bengals by four points, 34-30.

On November 25, the Saints barely got by a 3-7 Dallas Cowboys team, 30-27.

The reason why I bring this up is because the Saints are no lock to win this game.

They are beaten up and now they got to go play in some chilly weather in hostile territories up North.

To me, this is a classic case of the tale of an underdog tortoise, who beat the hare who slept on him.

I can see very clearly that the New Orleans Saints think they have this game in the bag and it will haunt them until the end of the fourth quarter.

I expect a close game throughout, with the X-Factor being "Big Mike Williams" of the Seahawks, not Reggie Bush of the Saints like most believe.

Don't think for a second that this Seahawks team isn't ready to play the defending Super Bowl Champions on their turf.  

While the Saints have been here before, the Seahawks haven't been in the playoffs since 2007 and this is the biggest game of a lot of these young players NFL career to date.

One player that is ready on the Seattle Seahawks is veteran, Raheem Brock, who signed with the Seahawks at the beginning of the season.

Brock knows what it is like to win in the playoffs, as he won it all with the Indianapolis Colts at Super Bowl XLI in 2006.

While Brock doesn't get many tackles, he does have four sacks in his last three games, with 2.5 sacks on Sam Bradford last week to help the Seahawks defeat the Rams.

With a winter mix expected just before halftime, Brock could be a difference maker in the second half. If he can get at Brees and rattle him, the Seahawks can control the outcome of this game.

A big game from Brock can help Seattle fans forget about that awful DUI charge back in November, which was uncalled for.

Matt Hasselbeck will return this week, after missing last weeks game.

Hasselbeck’s experience in the playoffs and also against Saints’ defensive coordinator Gregg Williams could be a big factor in this game.

The Saints are expected to go into Seattle, and drive right through them on their way to defend their Super Bowl title.

Marques Colston had 113 yards and two scores against the Seahawks earlier this year inside the Super Dome.

Expect Seahawks Strong Safety Lawyer Milloy to shadow Colston and prevent a big game.

Saints Quarterback Drew Brees isn't invisible and believe it or not, he is human.  A few costly interceptions in this game, and it could be over before you know it.

Brees throws the ball a lot and had 22 interceptions thrown, which was only second to Eli Manning's 25.

However, Brees also threw 33 touchdowns, which was second to Tom Brady's 36.

Head Coach Pete Carroll knows that the Seahawks are huge underdogs and he has to help these guys believe that they can win this game, because they can.

A few big returns from former New York Jets Leon Washington would be a huge benefactor in this game as well, giving Hasselbeck the field position he needs.

The Seahawks have to get at Brees and protect Hasselbeck, and they can win.

While the Saints are trying to get back to the Super Bowl, this is the Seahawks Super Bowl.

Sixty minutes for the rest of their lives.  Lay it all on the line.

My final prediction, the Seahawks shock the world, but don't shock themselves,

Seahawks win 24-20.


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