In what could very well go down as the best game of the 2013 season, the Seattle Seahawks are set to face off against the New Orleans Saints this coming Monday night in primetime. With each squad nearly perfect in a few aspects apiece, what will ultimately give in? Both teams have, for the most part, stout defenses that can shut down opposing offenses in their own ways week in and week out.
For Seattle to come away victorious, though, will it be the defensive side of the ball coming up big or will another facet of their game plan have to come into play?
We already know about Seattle’s pass defense. They’re top-notch. We know that Drew Brees is going to make plays at certain points, and there may be nothing the Seahawks can do at the time because Brees is just that good. But, for the most part, Seattle should be able to hold these guys below 21-24 points — I think that may secure a victory.
But, how do the Seahawks score? They may have a great pass defense themselves, but don’t forget New Orleans is right behind Seattle’s 2nd-ranked pass defense and currently ranks 3rd. The Seahawks are only averaging 210 passing yards per game, anyways, so Russell Wilson may be asked to toss fewer passes than he’s thrown all season long — and it just might work.
Seattle boasts the league’s 3rd-best rushing attack and averages nearly 150 yards per game on the ground thanks to both Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch. This week, though, they’ll have what could be their X-factor in their second straight game: Wideout Percy Harvin.
Harvin brings another aspect to this Seahawks rushing attack. Not only will New Orleans have to worry about Wilson tucking the ball and taking off or Lynch busting through to the second level, but now they need to keep an eye on Harvin at all times. He may have been limited last week, but each game he’ll see more touches and in a game like this, all it takes is one touch for Harvin to make a significant impact. If he has the ball in his hands, Seattle has the chance to score every single time.
If the Seahawks want to win this one and solidify themselves as the true number one team in the NFC, it’ll take a heavy dose of the run game. Lynch needs a good 25 carries. Wilson needs 5-to-10 carries. Harvin, like I said, might just need one or two — you never know. But, all three of them will be involved in an important way.
For New Orleans, this means that their 15th-ranked rush defense is going to have to fight for its best game all season long. This will be a battle of two heavyweights in the NFC and could be one of the best games we see all season long.
Will Seattle run all over the Saints in order to secure a victory, or will New Orleans’ passing game overcome the odds?