New Orleans vs Seattle NFL Playoff Handicapping
One of the NFL’s best postseason quarterbacks arrives in Seattle on Saturday ready to do battle with the Seahawks in the Divisional round of the NFL playoffs.
When: Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014 at 4:35 p.m. EST
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
LINE: -8 (Seahawks), O/U 46.5
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Saints quarterback Drew Brees enters this weekend’s test in Seattle with the highest completion percentage (67.0) in postseason history, and is the only quarterback with three 400-yard games in the playoffs.
He led New Orleans high-powered offense to its first postseason road win in franchise history last week, pulling out a last-second 26-24 win at Philadelphia.
However, the Saints will be tested when they visit the top-seeded Seahawks in a rematch of a Dec. 2 game in Seattle, when the Saints were mauled in the Big Easy to the tune of 34-7.
Seattle held the Saints to their lowest point total since October 2008 in that one, and will look to embarrass them again at home this week — a place where they are 15-1 over the past two seasons.
Not good news for a Saints (12-1) team that struggles away from home, managing only 36 points in three December road losses before their win over Philly.
Brees, threw for 250 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions against the Eagles, but now must face a Seattle defense that limited him to 147 yards the last time they met.
In order to contend with that, New Orleans will need its defense, which held the NFL’s leading rusher, LeSean McCoy, to 77 yards on 21 carries, to step up and contain Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for 1,257 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.
That effort has fueled a Seattle (13-3) offense that has been somewhat of surprise this year behind the noble efforts of quarterback Wilson.
However, Wilson has slid a bit after a hot start, averaging just 171.3 yards passing and four touchdowns to three interceptions in the four games following his team’s win at New Orleans.
And while the Seattle offense has fallen off, the story here is really the Seahawks’ defense, which leads the league in fewest points (14.4) and yards (273.3) allowed per game while registering an NFL-high 28 interceptions .
Matt’s Free NFL Playoff Prediction
The Saints will need to get up early in this one if they want to advance. They cannot afford to fall behind like they did in Philly.
Wilson has 24 overall wins and 15 at home in his first two seasons, the most by a quarterback in the Super Bowl era. Combine that with a fan base that hold the world-record for noise, and I expect a big win for Seattle here.
Seahawks 28, Saints 20