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I really don’t know what to make of this week. Here we sit on the verge of Thanksgiving ready to celebrate all that we have and yet I can’t help but think that something has been ripped right out from underneath me. What could it be? Hum? Oh yes…my sense of trust in the Seahawks. It is unfair to lump the Seahawks, as a whole, into this category. It is akin to being in a classroom with a bonehead/show off/loud mouth (take your pick) and then the class being held in from recess for the antics of one person (in this case two alleged people). I have been there and felt the unfairness swirl in the room…and now I know how the rest of the Seahawks feel. They have worked hard, very hard, to get where they are at currently and now the only thing we can focus on is the alleged selfishness of a couple of individuals. It is time to cut the fat and move on.
Okay, give me the stepladder, I am ready to get off of my soapbox.
We welcome to town the Saints, second best team in the NFC, by record….although I think the Carolina is currently playing better football. Most sports betting sites like SportsBettingOnline.ag have the Seahawks favored by 5 points on Monday Night Football.
The Saints are living proof of the impact one person, namely Sean Payton, can have on a team sport. They are a completely different team with him at the helm. It doesn’t hurt that they were able to upgrade their defense with the addition of key players and Rob Ryan. In fact, their defense may be the most important aspect of the new improved Saints. Their offense has never been their weak point, it was the fact that they would give up a country mile and 73 points a game. But it seems that they have devised a solution to this pesky problem.
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Here is what we know about New Orleans: they live and die by the passing game. And why wouldn’t you when your quarterback is completing over 68% of his passes and has thrown for more than 3,600 yards so far. He has a bevy of receivers that have his full confidence, highlighted by Jimmy Graham. This works against the Seahawks favor as we struggle against large, agile TEs that can get downfield. We can be sure that we will be taking a big mouthful of turkey on Thanksgiving and a large dose of Drew Brees passing the ball on Monday.
The Saints running game is not very efficient, coming in at 23rd in the league in rushing yards. I couldn’t imagine a scenario that the Saints try to run it down our throat. I am not the defensive coordinator of the Seahawks but I think we hedge our bets and focus less on the run and turn our attention to their passing game. But how should we go about doing this, you ask? Two options; pressure the QB or pressure the receivers.
As you watch Brees you note that he is most effective when he is able to step up into the pocket. This means the more pressure we can generate upfront to take away his pocket the better our chances are. Get him on the edge. Force him to think about our defensive pressure and less on his receivers. Make him scramble. In essence take away his comfort zone. This has to start with a tsunami like pressure from our big guys…they were brought in specifically to provide sustained pressure.
The other option is to slow down their receivers, body up against them and simply out-physical them. Enter Wright, Sherman and Thomas stage right. Our fill-ins, most likely Maxwell and Lane, will get a chance to enter that same stage on Monday night. This is their national audition. They are the understudy ready to go live with their part, and by all accounts they are ready and have been ready. The Saints have four well developed receivers all of whom can do damage. This means that our secondary is going to be really busy and they better bring their A-game.
Here is what we know about Seattle: they are a very deep and talented team that uses the next up mentality to the extreme. If this wasn’t the case there would be panic in the streets of Seattle and people would have to be talked off of ledges. But as you can see the National Guard has not been put on alert and everything in Seattle seems to behaving status quo.
Here is the shocking stat of the day, Seattle has scored 306 points to New Orleans 305 points. Yes, you heard me, we have scored more points than the juggernaut known as the Saints. So what does this tell us? We are just as offensively proficient as the mighty Saints but you don’t know from which direction our points are going to come…the art of deception, with Houdini working his Dangeruss magic. With the Saints you know they are going to pass, pass and pass again. Just stop the pass and you win. “Too simple” you may say. “Too pollyannaish” you may shout. Talk to me on Tuesday when we have won because the Saints were held to 250 yards of passing.
And by the way, let me give you what the Saints have to look forward to this week…. A cross-country flight to the most raucous crowd to ever watch a football game. A quarterback that has deadly accuracy and is as slippery as an eel. A running back that would rather run over you than around you. A corps of receivers that will flat out beat you to the ball and make spectacular catches like they are commonplace. A kicker that makes every field goal look like he was taking a chip shot. A bye week that has allowed a once injury-riddled team to become as healthy as they have been all season. A lot of pent up emotion on the defensive line that needs to be released….and potential seismic activity caused by an overwhelming and undeniable will to beat the Saints. Go Hawks!