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Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints

Go Seahawks! Seeking 11-1!!

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports


Team Stats - Game Averages

Pts Yrds Pass Rush
Off 27.8 358.5 (12th) 210.5 (25th) 147.9 (2nd)
Def 16.3 293.3 (2nd) 180.4 (1st) 112.9 (16th)

A lot has been written about this game and its playoff implications already, so I'll save the redundancy and instead focus on a few observations on how I think the Seahawks can slow down the Saints tonight.

First - as the defensive statistics above show, Seattle has been winning with defense. If you been watching them this season, you'll know far too frequently they've done "just enough" to win on offense leaving little room for error. You CAN'T do that with the Saints. The Seattle offense needs to come out early and get some points on the board. Equally important is long, clock eating drives. Take the ball out of the hands of Drew Brees, and keep your defense fresh so they can stay in attack mode. No early 3 and out series. Beast mode everywhere. Run the ball well early to set up some passing options.

Second - find ways to disrupt Drew Brees. It doesn't have to be sacks (though obviously good!), but pushing him to move around, taking away his timing on quick hitters. This can be strong jams at the line of scrimmage on receivers. This can be well disguised blitzes. You have to make him uncomfortable. Sell out early to disrupt their passing game, because their running game is largely an afterthought most games. New Orleans has the #2 pass offense and #23 rush offense. They don't even average 100 yards per game on the ground.

Third - make big special teams plays. Both sides of the ball. Good returns to set up the offense, and pin the Saints deep when you have to give the ball back to them. If they are going to score, make them go a long ways to do it.

Finally - the obvious and always true - take care of the ball. No giveaways. Make good decisions and hold on tight. The Saints have a very good defense of their own and that cannot be taken for granted - 5th in the NFL at the moment.