Well, here we are again. I don’t have to keep reiterating the Saints face a rematch with the Seahawks. That’s plastered anywhere and everywhere. However, since we are talking Seahawks, it was only fitting to team up once again with Mitch Quesada of FanSided affiliate 12th Man Rising.
Much like the first time, we are out to pick each other’s brain, asking each other five questions around the upcoming matchup. Enjoy!
Thanks again Mitch! It was an absolute pleasure to collaborate with you once again!
1. First and foremost, I have to toot both of our horns. The last time we interviewed each other, I asked you, ‘No matter how this game 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?‘ My first question for you, what’s the mood like for the Seahawks fans having to play the Saints, yet again?
I think Seahawks fans have mixed reactions to having to play the Saints again. Half of the fan base is saying “Yes! Now we can whoop them like we did on Monday Night Football!” The other half of the fan base is saying “Aw, crap not them again! Now they know how to beat us since they have already played on our field. We won the first game now they are gonna win the second.” It really just depends who you ask. One thing all Seahawks fans can agree on, however, is that we are excited that the game is being played at our house because the Big Easy is not so easy to play in. Seahawks fans will be rocking on Saturday and are hungry to bring the NFC Championship game back to Seattle.
2. The first game will be brought up so many times when analysts look at this matchup, however, we know two things. The game is earlier, and the weather is looking to be full of rain and very windy. How does this work out for both teams?
Because the Saints played most of their games in a dome this season, I am tempted to give the advantage to the Seahawks, who constantly practice and play in Seattle weather. However, the Saints looked decent in bad weather last weekend in Philadelphia. One thing that I do think the Seahawks have the advantage in is the run game, which will be utilized quite a bit if it is as windy as the forecast is making it look.
3. Marshawn Lynch was held in check for the first game, but Russell Wilson was the one who shined, and outperformed Drew Brees. What do you think the Seahawks have to do differently this time around to make sure they come out on top?
Perhaps it’s not what they need to do differently, but what they need to do the same as they did the last time they played. Because Lynch was held in check, other players stepped up their game and allowed the Seahawks to still have a dominant game. Their defense dominated in ridiculous fashion and this time around, they need to force turnovers from Drew Brees. Brees is prone to throwing interceptions because he throws the ball deep and that means a lot of airballs for a Seahawks secondary that features three Pro-Bowlers. If the Seahawks play with the same intensity and commitment as they did in Week 13, they will win this game.
4. It wasn’t necessarily Drew Brees that lifted the Saints to their first franchise road playoff victory against the Eagles, but a combination of the rushing attack and the defense’s ability to produce. What potentially would be a concern you see for the Seahawks going into Saturday defending against the Saints, who arguably learned a great deal from the first game.
No question the Saints learned from their mistakes in Week 13 and are looking forward to vengeance on Saturday. Right now, my biggest concern is Jimmy Graham. The guy is a stud, enough said. When these teams met last time, he was limited to three catches for 42 yards and a TD, but he was defended heavily by Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright. Wright will not play on Saturday as he recovers from a broken foot which leaves a hole in the middle of the defense and begs the question — who the heck is going to cover Graham? If the Seahawks don’t answer that question quickly, Graham will have a Graham-like day and run all over the defense. He could be the difference of the game and shutting him down could be one key to a Seahawks victory.
5. Alright, yet again, we’re going to get your game prediction, and where do you see this game being decided? Will the winner of this game be New York bound?
Wow, I can see this game going one of two ways. One, the Seahawks play as well as they did in Week 13, but the Saints learn from their mistakes and make it closer in this game than it was in that game. Two, the Saints come in pumped from their first road-playoff win in franchise history and dominate both sides of the ball to shut down the Seahawks like the Cardinals did in Week 16. The defenses will decide this game. Whichever defense forces 3-and-outs to get their offense back on the field will win.
If the Seahawks win, they will have the confidence and home-field advantage to be New York-bound. If the Saints win, it will depend on their Championship opponent to determine if they are Super Bowl-bound.
Seahawks 31, Saints 20
Do you agree or disagree with Mitch? What are your personal thoughts on the game? Let us know below!
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