A month ago, after the Seattle Seahawks had finished lambasting his team 34-7, New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton went into the locker room and told his players to remember the feeling. Because they would be back. They would have their chance at redemption. They would get another shot at the Seattle Seahawks.
Now that prediction has come true. The New Orleans Saints went into Philadelphia and beat a red hot Eagles team on their own turf. The Saints, who went 3-5 on the road in the 2013 NFL season, pounded the ball at Philadelphia using Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson. It wasn’t a beautiful game. The Saints scratched and fought for every inch. They suffered the loss of key players on defense. In the end though, New Orleans shut down the #2 offense in the NFL when it mattered. New Orleans ran the ball effectively when they had to kill the clock and gain first downs. And when Shayne Graham’s 33-yard field goal split the uprights with no time left on the clock the New Orleans Saints had won their first NFL playoff game on the road and the next destination was……Seattle.
Which is all fine and good and makes a nice storyline. If anyone thought the Philadelphia Eagles were tough just wait until the Saints hit Seattle. This is perhaps the biggest challenge in the NFL. The Seattle Seahawks simply do not lose at home. In their last meeting Russel Wilson torched New Orleans for three touchdowns. The Saints were held to 44 yards rushing. Seattle boasts the best pass defense in the NFL and collectively has 28 interceptions on the season.
It’s tough to predict one game based on the last one but it;s not hard to see that any NFL team going into Seattle is going to have a tough time winning. The New Orleans Saints won’t lack motivation. But they still have to beat the Seahawks.