Saints @ Seahawks: Wild Card Playoff Preview

Official NFL Release

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS-NFC SOUTH (11-5) AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS-NFC WEST (7-9)

SERIES

 

SAINTS

SEAHAWKS

LEADER

6-5

STREAKS

3 of past 5

COACHES VS. OPP.

Payton: 2-0

Carroll: 1-1

COACHES PLAYOFF RECORD

4-1

1-2

VS. COMMON OPP.

NO: 6-3 (Arz. 0-1; Atl. 1-1; Car. 2-0; StL. 1-0; SF 1-0; TB 1-1)

Sea: 5-4 (Arz: 2-0; Atl. 0-1; Car. 1-0; StL. 1-1; SF 1-1; TB 0-1)

PLAYOFF RECORD

5-6

7-10

LAST WEEK

L 23-13  vs. Buccaneers

W 16-6 vs. Rams

LAST GAME

11/21/10: Seahawks 19 at Saints 34.  New Orleans QB Drew Brees passes for 382 yards & throws 2 TDs each to WRs Robert Meachem and Marques Colston

LAST GAME AT SITE

10/14/07: Saints 28, Seahawks 17.  Brees passes for 246 yards & 2 TDs as Saints score 28 1st-half points en route to victory. 

LAST PLAYOFF

---

BROADCAST

NBC (4:30 PM ET): Tom Hammond, Mike Mayock, Alex Flanagan (Field reporter).  Westwood One Radio: Larry Kahn, Dan Fouts, Mark Malone (Field reporter).  SIRIUS: 124 (WW1), 125 (NO), 123 (Sea).  XM: 124 (WW1), 102 (NO), 103 (Sea.).


STAT LEADERS

PASSING

Brees: 448-658-4,620 (1C)-33 (1C)-22-90.9

Hasselbeck: 266-444-3,001-12-17-73.2 OR

Whitehurst: 57-99-507-2-3-65.5

RUSHING

P. Thomas: 83-269-3.2-2

Lynch: 202-737-3.6-6

RECEIVING

Colston: 84-1,023-12.2-7

M. Williams: 65-751-11.6-2

OFFENSE

372.5 (3C)

297.8

TAKE/GIVE

-6

-9

DEFENSE

306.3 (1C)

368.6

SACKS

Ellis: 6

Clemons: 11

INTs

Greer, Jenkins: 2

Thomas (R): 5

PR

Bush: 6.6

Washington: 11.3

KR

Henderson: 23.7

Washington: 25.6

PUNTING

Morstead: 45.9 (3C)

Ryan: 41.7

KICKING

Hartley: 100 (40/40 PAT; 20/25 FG)

Mare: 106 (31/31 PAT; 25/30 FG)


NOTES

TEAMS MEET for 1st time in postseason.  Clubs met in Week 11 (NO 34-19).  NO leads all-time series 6-5. 

SAINTS:  Aim to become 1st team to repeat as Super Bowl champions since NE (SB XXXVIII & XXXIX).  Head coach SEAN PAYTON is 4-1 in playoffs.  In 5 seasons with NO, has led team to 53 total wins, 3 playoff berths, 2 division titles, 2 NFC Champ Game appearances & 1 SB victory.  Saints had 3 players selected to Pro Bowl: QB DREW BREES (5th), G JAHRI EVANS (2nd) & G CARL NICKS (1st)...Since joining NO in 2006, QB Brees has 22,918 pass yards, most by QB in any 5-year span in NFL history.  Has 4,000+ yards in each of past 5 seasons & owns 5 best single-season passing totals in franchise history.  Brees &PEYTON MANNING are only QBs in NFL history with 5+ consecutive 4,000-yard seasons.  Had 448 completions, his NFL-record 3rd 400-completion season.  Has 66.7 comp. pct. (150 of 225) in postseason career, best in NFL history (min. 150 att.).  His 103.7 playoff passer rating is 2nd highest in NFL history (min. 150 att.) behind HOFer BART STARR (104.8).  Passed for 382 yards & 4 TDs vs. Sea. in Week 11...RB-PR REGGIE BUSH had 83-yard PR-TD in NFC Div. last year, 3rd longest PR in NFL playoff history.  Also had 46-yard rush TD in that game & became 2nd player in postseason history with rush TD & PR-TD in same game (HOFer CHARLEY TRIPPI).  RB PIERRE THOMAS has 3 TDs (2 rec., 1 rush) in past 2 playoff games...WR MARQUES COLSTON had 84 catches for 1,023 yards.  Is 1st Saint with 1,000+ rec. yards in 4 of 1st 5 NFL seasons.  Had 8 catches for 113 yards & 2 TDs in Week 11.  WR LANCE MOORE led team with 8 rec. TDs.  WR ROBERT MEACHEM had 2 TDs in last meeting.  Rookie TE JIMMY GRAHAM has 4 TDs in past 3 & aims for 4th in row with TD catch.  Led NFC rookie TEs with 5 TDs...CB TRACY PORTER aims for 3rd playoff game in row with INT.  Had 74-yard INT-TD in SB.  LB JONATHAN VILMA led club in tackles for 3rd consecutive season.  S MALCOLM JENKINS & CB JABARI GREER tied for club lead with 2 INTs.  Each had INT-TD.  DE WILL SMITH aims for 3rd in row with sack.  DT SEDRICK ELLIS tied for 3rd among NFC DTs with career-high 6 sacks.  S ROMAN HARPER has 2 sacks, FF & FR in 2 career games vs. Sea.  S DARREN SHARPER has 65 career INTs (63 reg. season, 2 postseason) & 11 INT-TDs (11 reg. season), both most among active players.

SEAHAWKS:  Have won NFC West 5 times in past 7 seasons.  Make 6th playoff appearance in past 8 years.  Aim for 5th consecutive home playoff win.  Are 4-0 in past 4 postseason home games, outscoring opponents 110-58...Head coach PETE CARROLL returns to postseason for 1st time since 1998 with NE...QB MATT HASSELBECK has started 9 playoff games, tied for 2nd most in team history.  Can tieWALTER JONES (10) for most postseason starts by Seahawk.  Holds club playoff passing records for attempts (325), completions (189), yards (2,211) & TDs (11).  Had 3,001 pass yards, his team-record 7th career 3,000-yard season.   In 4 meetings vs. NO, has completed 89 of 139 (64 pct.) for 1,111 yards with 6 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 97.1 rating.  Aims for 3rd meeting in row with 360+ pass yards.  In Week 11 game vs. NO, completed 32 of 44 (72.7 pct.) for 366 yards with 1 TD vs. 0 INTs for 104.9 rating.  QB CHARLIE WHITEHURST recorded 1st career win as starting QB last week as Seahawks clinched division.  Threw for career-high 192 yards, incl. career-long 61-yard pass...RB MARSHAWN LYNCH led team with 573 rush yards & totaled 737 rush yards on season (164 with Buf.).  RB JUSTIN FORSETT recorded 2nd consecutive season with 500+ rush yards (523) & 30+ catches (33) & is 7th Seahawk to accomplish feat in back-to-back years.  RB-KR LEON WASHINGTON tied for NFL lead with franchise-record 3 KR-TDs.  Is only player in NFL history to record 3+ KR-TDs in 2 different seasons (2007 with NYJ).  Has 7 career KR-TDs, 2nd most in NFL history (JOSHUA CRIBBS, 8)...WR MIKE WILLIAMS led club with career-high 65 catches & 751 yards.  Entering 2010, had 44 catches & 539 yards in career.  Had 3 games with 10+ receptions & is 1st Seahawk with 3 10-catch games in season.  Had 6 catches for 109 yards in Week 11.  WRs BEN OBOMANU &DEON BUTLER tied for team lead with 4 rec. TDs...DE CHRIS CLEMONS led team with career-high 11 sacks.  DE RAHEEM BROCK had 2.5 sacks & FF last week.  S EARL THOMAS led NFC rookies with 5 INTs & tied club rookie record (MICHAEL BOULWARE, 2004).  CB MARCUS TRUFANT (78 yards) & S JORDAN BABINEAUX (57) have only INT-TDs in team postseason history.  LB LOFA TATUPU has 54 tackles in playoffs, 2nd most in club history (LEROY HILL, 64). 

   

The defending Super Bowl champions will head to Seattle's Qwest Field to begin their title defense against the Seahawks, who captured the NFC West. 

"We're looking forward to the challenge," says Saints head coach SEAN PAYTON.  "We know it's going to be a tough place to play.  The crowd noise is as loud as it is in this league for an outdoor venue.  For us, it's all about playing your best football at the right time, and that time is right now.  Clearly, everyone recognizes that you have to win to advance."   

Leading the way for New Orleans is Pro Bowl quarterback DREW BREES, who has completed 66.7 percent of his passes (150 of 225) in the playoffs, an NFL record.  Brees' 103.7 postseason passer rating is second all-time behind Pro Football Hall of Famer BART STARR (104.8). 

The Seahawks advanced to the playoffs for the fifth time in the past seven seasons with a 16-6 win last week over the St. Louis Rams in front of a raucous home crowd. 

"Our fans are incredible," says Seattle head coach PETE CARROLL.  "They rocked the house on Sunday night and I'm grateful we could give back to them.  Not only that, we get to come back and play here again on Saturday." 

"Getting into the playoffs, that's all you want," says Seahawks linebacker WILL HERRING.  "You just want to have a shot."

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