The New Orleans Saints face a tough and scary opponent on Monday night in Seattle when our boys line up against a 10-1 Seattle Seahawks team. There are plenty of reasons to be nervous about this one. This team is the only one loss team in the NFL. To be the man, you have to beat the man right?
The Seattle Seahawks may very well be "the man" at this point. They have taken care of business on the football field, only losing to the Indianapolis Colts on the road by 6 points. But I think it's safe to say that the Seahawks have yet to face a foe quite like the Saints and I question if they are ready for what they are about to see on Monday night.
Drew Brees vs. the Seahawks Secondary:
Hey, these guys have been awesome over the past couple of years, right? But unfortunately for them, they will be without Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond. (drugs are bad, mmkay?) While the Seahawks are second in the NFL against the pass, take a peek at who the opposing QBs have been, followed by their ranking in total passing yardage..
Cam Newton (18th), Colin Kaepernick (22nd), Chad Henne (21st). Matt Schaub (25th), Andrew Luck (15th), Ryan Fitzpatrick (32nd), Kellen Clemens (38th), Mike Glennon (24th), Matt Ryan (5th, while his team is self destructing), and the Christian Ponder (27th)/Matt Cassel (42nd) duo.
Yes. The scary Seahawks secondary has defeated ONE TOP 16 QUARTERBACK in 11 games. And that one guy (Matt Ryan) was without his top wide receiver and his hall of fame tight end was fighting through injury.
So is the Seahawks secondary, without two of their top three cornerbacks, ready to contend with record breaking quarterback Drew Brees and the passing offense that even a rather healthy 49er defense could not shut down for less than 300 yards? Richard Sherman can not cover everyone.
Saints Improved Rushing Attack vs Seahawks Struggling Run Defense:
If the Saints can find a way to take advantage of this, the Seahawks may be in for a long Monday night. While the Seahawks may be 16th against the run this season, it is good to know that Seattle has allowed 601 rushing yards (which is 48.3% of rushing yards allowed FOR THE SEASON) in the past 4 games, which includes a combined 405 rushing yards allowed to the Rams and the Bucs. This is a defense that has recently allowed Mike James to gain 158 yards on the ground, while rookie Zac Stacy rushed for 134 yards of his own. This is hardly a sign of a dominant rush defense. Considering the fact that the Saints have outrushed their opponents in the past 3 weeks, it's pretty safe to assume that the Saints will accept the challenge from a run defense that seems to be struggling for the past month.
But The Seahawks Have Marshawn Lynch...
True, you are correct. But the 49ers had Frank Gore too. And the Saints allowed the 3rd fewest total yards of the season against him. Keep in mind, Chris freaking Ivory had 139 yards rushing against the Saints. Gore had 48 rushing yards. As a matter of fact, since Ivory ran wild on the Saints, New Orleans have outrushed their opponents for three straight weeks. If this happens for a fourth week in a row, the Saints cruise to a win.
So how scary are the Seahawks at home? Well, when Seattle plays at home, Russell Wilson has never been defeated as a starter. However, the Saints have won 6 straight on Monday night, with the last loss being by 3 to the Minnesota Vikings in 2008. Since Coach Payton was hired in 2006, the Saints are 9-2 on Monday night, so be ready for Drew Brees and company to be fired up. Sure, the Seahawks are coming off of a bye. But will they be ready for what is arguably the hottest team in the NFC? If they are, their defense better be expected to play better than it has the past 4 weeks or else the Saints will make them pay.
Will the Saints improved rushing attack be able to do what inferior opponents have to the Seahawks for the past 4 weeks or will Drew have to beat the Seahawks through the air? To start the season, I didn't like the Saints' chances, but considering the circumstances, the Saints do have a great opportunity to take out this team and control its own destiny.