I recently teamed up with Mitch Quesada of FanSided affiliate 12th Man Rising. With the Saints Monday Night date with the Seahawks right around the corner, it was a great opportunity to pick each other’s brain & ask any five questions to gather intel from another team’s perspective.
Thanks again Mitch! It was great to collaborate with you on this!
1. The Seahawks track record at home speaks for itself, and is quite a feat. However, I’m more interested in the resilience that the team has shown, specifically getting down in games, and then being able to rally and win like they did against the Bucs. What makes the Seahawks so dangerous at home aside from the 12th Man?
The Seahawks are just a tenacious team that refuses to give up, no matter what the circumstances. The players have told themselves all season that this is the year they will go to the Super Bowl and they firmly believe that no matter who they play, they have a chance to win.
I don’t know what it is about the 12th Man crowd but they sure know how to get inside opponent’s heads. When the Seahawks have that momentum behind them, they play like nothing can go wrong. Down 21-0 to the Buccaneers in Seattle, the team stayed composed, the crowd remained loud and the Seahawks carried the momentum into the biggest come-from-behind victory in franchise history. There is no way to explain what that crowd means to Seattle. This is their team and the Seahawks know it.
Aside from the 12th Man, I think it is just trust in each other. All of these guys look up to each other and stay selfless in order to achieve that common goal — the Super Bowl. They stick with each other and work to get better, no matter the score of the previous game. Their tenacity is among the best in the NFL.
2. No doubt every Saints fan throws up a little at the amazing run by Marshawn Lynch in the 2011 Wild Card meeting between these two. First of all, does that actually trump the Tony Romo screw up? Second, what makes Marshawn Lynch so tough to bring down, and that 3rd ranked rushing attack so lethal?
Lynch’s run was one of the most impressive runs I have ever seen. It was exciting that it was in such a clutch game too and it forever cemented Lynch’s legacy as “Beast Mode”. It was spontaneous and looked like the kind of run from a Madden video game. It certainly trumped Romo’s fumble as an exciting moment in Seahawk history.
Lynch is tough to bring down because of the power he runs with. He is well-built at 5-foot-11, 215 pounds and is actually comparable to Adrian Peterson in size and strength. Lynch doesn’t get the credit he deserves for the type of player that he is. This year he has been relying on a battered, injury-plagued offensive line to open holes for him and he still averages 4.4 yards per rush this season. He is also lethal because defenses know that if they focus too much on him, Russell Wilson will burn them with the passing game. They compliment each other nicely and will hopefully continue to do so for years to come. Lynch’s power running style make it fitting that he is called “Beast Mode”.
3. The cornerback troubles are something the Seahawks potentially have to worry about, and the Seahawks made a move to sign Perrish Cox, formerly of the 49ers, but you’re up against Jimmy Graham, and we’ve seem him shut down once all season, and that was by Patriots corner Aqib Talib, so how do you stop Graham & who do you put on him to cover?
Figuring out how to stop Jimmy Graham is like figuring out how to staple water to a tree. My thought is that he is too big to cover man-to-man so the Seahawks may be smart to stay in a zone defense and let Graham wander into double coverage somewhere on the field.
All three of Seattle’s linebackers (Bobby Wagner, Bruce Irvin and K.J. Wright) have considerable speed at their positions so if Graham stays within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage, those three may have a chance to limit him. Once Graham goes deep, however, the Seahawks may force one of their safeties to come up and cover. I think that for now, the best way to cover Graham is to let a few different players take a shot at covering him on Monday Night and then look at taking him out of the game plan and forcing the Saints to run the ball.
Obviously, all of this is much easier said than done.
4. No matter how this games goes, do you expect we will see a rematch for the NFC Championship matchup, and do you believe it will be one of these teams that will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl?
I had a feeling this question would be coming because it’s such a great one. It is my honest opinion that these are the two best teams in the NFC right now. That could change on any given Sunday but if the playoffs started next week, there would be no doubt in my mind that these two would play for the NFC title. That being said, unless the Panthers come out of nowhere and surprise everybody, or the 49ers get really hot, I do believe that either the Saints or Seahawks will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Will they play each other to get there? Probably. Will it be in the NFC Championship game? I sure hope so.
5. I wrote in a previous article that I believe the pressure is more on the Seahawks to win & hold on to their top spot, as opposed to the Saints marching in to get a road victory. Do you agree? What’s your final score prediction?
Without a doubt, I agree. The Seahawks have been distracted this week with the suspensions of two of their top corners and have the weight of a 13-game home-winning streak on the line. However, great teams win big games. The Seahawks have been criticized all year for nearly losing to the (at the time) winless Buccaneers and making bad mistakes that cost them their only loss of the season in Indianapolis. Furthermore, the last time they were on Monday Night Football, it took a last-second goal line stand by their defense to beat the Rams in St. Louis in one of Seattle’s worst offensive performances of the year.
This is their time to show the nation that they are truly the best team in the NFC. The Saints have been in that conversation for years now, so a New Orleans win wouldn’t really be that surprising. But if the Seahawks win, critics may finally take a step back and realize that this team is for real.
It’s going to be a close game, but the Seahawks have had two weeks to prepare and Percy Harvin will be playing full speed ahead with the best NFL crowd in the stands.
Seahawks 34, Saints 30
Do you agree or disagree with Mitch? What are your personal thoughts on the game? Let us know below!