Hawks have to forget earlier victory because Saints won’t

Published on January 6, 2014 by     Tacoma News Tribune (Feed)

140105-lynch-660

As soon as Shayne Graham’s field-goal kick knifed through the uprights Saturday night, sending the New Orleans Saints to Seattle for a playoff game against the Seahawks, Pete Carroll and his staff began a comprehensive review of the last time the Saints came marching into CenturyLink Field.

Consulting an information bank organized with the meticulous precision of a rocket launch, Carroll’s thumbnail analysis of the Seahawks’ 34-7 victory on Dec. 2 probably looked like this:

What went right? Everything.

What went wrong? Nothing.

It’s not likely the Seahawks can play any better than they did five weeks ago, nor is it likely the Saints can play any worse. In other words, come Saturday afternoon, expect something more in line with an actual football game than a reprise of a rope-a-dope pummeling.

You’d think the Seahawks would have no qualms about drawing the Saints, who were as overmatched on the stat sheet as they were on the scoreboard. Name a category, and the Hawks owned a virtual times-two or times-three advantage.

First downs? Seattle 23, New Orleans 12.

Rushing yards? Seattle 127, New Orleans 44.

Total net yards? Seattle 429, New Orleans 188.

If the Seahawks produce even a semblance of those numbers Saturday, they’ll be on a collision course with either the Panthers or the 49ers in the NFC championship game.

But here’s the rub: It’s a challenge to beat an opponent twice in five weeks, much less an opponent whose coach is as savvy as Sean Payton.

While Carroll’s task will be to convince his team that a 27-point victory in December translates into ancient history in January, Payton will use the humiliation as motivation.

An athlete of NFL caliber shouldn’t need motivation for a playoff game, to be sure, but pride is a substantial intangible. From the moment Hawks’ defensive tackle Brendan Mebane stopped Pierre Thomas for a 4-yard loss on New Orleans’ first play, the visitors had their noses rubbed in the stuff of a barnyard mess.

The Seahawks would be wise to forget how thoroughly they dominated that night.

The Saints can’t.

What Payton’s team has put behind is some history of futility. Before the Saints’ comeback victory against the Eagles on Saturday night, the franchise was 0-5 in road playoff games. While weather conditions in not-always-sunny Philadelphia weren’t particularly brutal, the environment was.

Quarterback Drew Brees threw two interceptions, and New Orleans was minus- two in the turnover ratio – a crucial, all-important category during the playoffs, unless it isn’t – but the Saints cobbled together a late scoring drive that concluded with Graham’s last-second field goal.

Oddsmakers have installed the Seahawks as 8½-point favorites, an increase of the 4½-point spread set when 10-1 Seattle and 9-2 New Orleans clashed in that Monday Night Football battle of the heavyweights.

But remember: In 1990, the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants lost at San Francisco, 7-3, in a Monday night game packed with similar anticipation.

The Giants came back to Candlestick Park for the playoff rematch without starting quarterback Phil Simms, who’d suffered a season-ending foot injury.

The Giants were unable to score a touchdown. They won anyway, 15-13.

And while 1940 was so long ago in football years that it’s irrelevant, I still find this fascinating: On Nov. 17, the Chicago Bears lost a road game to the Redskins, 7-3. Three weeks later, in the NFL championship game, the Bears returned to Griffith Stadium and beat the ’Skins by an almost similar score.

73-0.

“Nobody knows anything,” broadcaster Al Michaels said after watching the Saints advance to the second round of the 2013 playoffs.

Not true, Al.

We know the Seahawks and Saints faced each other in Seattle on Dec. 2. We know the Hawks took names and kicked butts and put on a show so one-sided it was over by halftime.

We know that.

What’s scary is, so does Sean Payton.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/01/06/2979936/hawks-have-to-forget-earlier-victory.html

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Fair Use Notice This website may at times present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understandings of democratic, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. The author believes that this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the articles published on this website are distributed without profit for research and informational purposes. In most instances a link is placed to originator of Article and it is never expressly mentioned as written by, we use published by certain entities who write or publish for this said Blog..

Tell Us What's On Your Mind (0)




WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing

REMEMBERING A LEGEND!

LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS

141124wagner660

Bobby Wagner goes from not playing for five games to playing all but one play vs Cardinals

After missing five games with a toe injury, Bobby Wagner was back at middle linebacker for Sunday’s win ...
141125-nfcwest-660

Know Your Enemy: NFC West Update on 49ers, Rams, Cardinals

Seattle's Week 12 win over the Arizona Cardinals should make for a more interesting stretch-run in the hyper-competitive ...
141124mmm660

Russell Wilson’s impromptu plays paved way for important victory

This one, as it turned, also was on Russell Wilson. After a week in which the Seahawks’ third-year quarterback ...
141123wagner660a

Seahawks cut Cardinals’ lead in NFC West to two games

In a game they had to have, the Seahawks regained their swagger and recaptured their dominating ways in ...
140904glance660

Seahawks play like the champs, roll Packers, 36-16

So this is what defending a Super Bowl championship looks like. Actually, it looked plenty like how the Seahawks ...
140902britt600

The Avril affect has played into Justin Britt’s development

If Pete Carroll has said it once, the Seahawks’ coach has said it just about every time he ...
140828walters600

Seahawks re-sign WR Bryan Walters, waive WR Phil Bates

Bryan Walters’ weekend was a lot like his performance in the Seahawks’ preseason finale on Thursday night. It ...
20140901upnext600

Up next: Green Bay Packers

As Super Bowl champions, the Seahawks will host the NFL regular-season opener at CenturyLink Field on Thursday night. ...

Shop for 2014 Seahawks Gameday Gear at NFLShop.com

Shop for 2014 Seahawks Gameday Gear at NFLShop.com

lat-noise-wre0011368363-20130915

WELCOME TO THE SEAHAWKS 12TH MAN ARMY.

WE TAKE PRIDE IN GIVING SEAHAWKS FANS AROUND THE CLOCK UPDATES,  ALL SEAHAWKS ALL THE TIME. SO IF YOU WANT THE LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS DELIVERED FOR FREE RIGHT TO YOUR EMAIL BOX ONCE A WEEK, SIGN UP AND ENJOY!

WE HAVE BEEN PROUDLY SERVING DIEHARD SEAHAWKS FANS SINCE 2004.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz