Don’t get me wrong. I am thrilled that the Seattle Seahawks beat the New Orleans by a score of 23-15. Bring on the NFC Championship game!
As for the game, it wasn’t the type of win that makes you feel particularly good about the San Francisco 49ers or Carolina Panthers coming to town next week. Some parts of the team played great, while others were a little shaky.
The defense? Overall, a great performance. Drew Brees did end the game with 309 yards through the air and the Saints were able to run the ball fairly effectively. However, when the Seahawks needed a big defensive play, they got it. I would have liked to see Chris Clemons get to the quarterback a few more times, but the defense did have eight pass deflections and almost came up with a couple of interceptions.
The running game? Stellar. Marshawn Lynch churned for tough yardage all afternoon, and the Seahawks were able to rack up 174 yards on the ground. If Breno Giacomini doesn’t get a holding call, Robert Turbin has a huge run that probably puts the Seahawks over 200 yards on the ground. It was really Beast Mode who iced the game with his late touchdown.
Hmmm…Lynch gets a late touchdown to seal a playoff win over the Saints. There is something familiar about that…
What concerns me is the general effectiveness of the offense. Russell Wilson had several opportunities to put the game away, but couldn’t do it. Jon Ryan punted the ball six times. That is a sign of an offense that can’t keep drives going.
Now, was the rain a factor? Sure. Did Wilson throw a few balls that should have been caught? Probably. The point is that the Seahawks were outscored 15-7 in the second half. Scoring seven points in the second half against the 49ers or Panthers may not get it done.
Wilson finished with only 103 yards on 9-of-18 passing. No picks, but no touchdowns either.
Credit Doug Baldwin for making a clutch catch late in the game to keep the drive alive. It was also fun to see Percy Harvin do his thing before the Saints knocked him out of the game with some questionable hits. I don’t expect to see Harvin next week.
In the end, the Seahawks move on and the Saints go home. The dream of a Super Bowl win for the Seahawks continues.