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Pro Sports Wrap - Athlete of the Day:Bert Blyleven

2011 Breakdown: NFC Wildcard Saints and Seahawks

January 4th 2011 17:47
If you didn't know each team's record or seed was and you only knew the roster, you would think the Saints were a team with a bye and the Hawks a team that finished near the bottom in their division. However, both of them are facing of in the wildcard game, and it is the Seahawks with the higher seed. The Saints are far and away the better team, so there really is almost no need to break this one down. However, I am trying to break down every single game in the playoffs. Let's get started.

The home and away split doesn't effect New Orleans. This is a well oiled machine no matter where they play. However, the home and away split is defining for Seattle. As we saw last week, the Seahawks are scrappy team at home that scrounges out Ws. On the road, they are your pet gerbil's dinner. Seriously, this team rolls over and dies like, well, roadkill.

The Seahawks really can't pass on the Saints because, well, they really can't pass. Suffice to say, scoring points is not going to happen on Tracy Porter and Jabari Greer. Even if Malcolm Jenkins is out, there is no way this team gets legit yardage in the passing game. Sedrick Ellis absolutely dominated LeGarrette Blount. Ellis obliterates weak interiors such as Tampa's. Even though Marshawn Lynch is the best running back in this game, expect the same dominance by Ellis against Pitts, Spencer, and Gibson.

Drew Brees will have a good game, but I think that Robert Meachem is poised for a big game. The Seahawks will focus in on Lance Moore, leaving Meachem wide open on curls routes. Usually the Saints like all or nothing, but I think that the Saints should work some small throws using curls routes before heaving some to Moore. Then we will start to see points on the board.

Brandon Mebane will have a difficult time against a stiff interior that features Carl Nicks, but expect Chris Clemson to get up in Brees's face on some plays against a weaker Bushrod. The Saints don't run the football well, which is a shame considering the Hawks are weak against the run. Throughout it all, this is the Saints game to lose. I don't think they lose it.

Prediction: 31-13 MVP: Sedrick Ellis
It isn't Week 17 Anymore
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5 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by Aryan Von Eicken

January 4th 2011 19:40
I agree with pretty much everything you say. Just i like the way Whitehurst played against the rams. Yes i know the rams but he seem at least decent. I agree even with Jenkins out the pass D is very good also because there back up is Darren Sharper

Comment by Dustin Hull

January 4th 2011 19:42
Yeah this should be a breeze for the Saints (no pun intended) and Lance Moore has looked solid the past couple of weeks and they will be keying more on him, so I agree with your Meachum assessment.

Comment by Winless In Seattle

January 4th 2011 22:16
Matt Hasselbeck's stat line from Week 11* in New Orleans:

32/44 for 72.7% completions
366 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
104.9 Passer Rating

*Jenkins was out Week 11.

Comment by nbageek

January 4th 2011 22:27
Good breakdown! Agree, the Saints with ease.

Comment by Joe Soriano

January 5th 2011 04:54
Yes Winless, I know about that big Hasselbeck game. I rewrite my posts on Associated Content, and I always have an interesting fact. My fact was, in the last meeting Hasselbeck threw 366 yards of passing. Don't expect that to happen again. But thanks for pointing it out.

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