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10 Bold Predictions for Seahawks vs Saints 2014 NFL Playoffs

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10 Bold Predictions for Seahawks vs Saints 2014 NFL Playoffs

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints put together an outstanding performance to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles in the Wild Card round of the 2014 NFL playoffs. Many were not surprised by the Saints leaving Philadelphia victorious. At the same time, the Eagles’ high-flying offense was powerful enough to defeat any team in the NFC. For that reason, it would be insane to bet against New Orleans from here on out.

With that being said, there is no tougher place to play than CenturyLink Field, which is home of the 12th man. The Seattle Seahawks have the league’s top ranked defense and are seventh in the league in scoring offense. If there were ever a team that is perfectly matched to take on New Orleans, it would be Seattle.

However, the Saints have Drew Brees and an offense that can put up points in a hurry. Not to mention, their horrendous defense from a season ago is now one of the most terrifying in the NFL. There is no question the contest between the Saints and Seahawks will feature the most highly anticipated matchup of the NFL Divisional playoff round. The atmosphere alone will be unbelievable, especially since this will be the first time these two teams meet in the playoffs since 2011.

Make sure to click through the slideshow to see the 10 bold predictions for the Seahawks versus the Saints. Also, make sure to comment below on which team you think will win the contest and why. Along with that, mention any bold predictions that you came up with.

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Drew Brees Will Be Better Than Russell Wilson

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

I understand that predicting Brees will be better than Russell Wilson isn’t the boldest prediction in the world. However, there actually is some boldness to the prediction when you really think about it. The Seahawks have held opposing quarterbacks to just a 63.4 passer rating in 2013, which is good for best in the league. On top of that, Seattle has the top-ranked pass defense (172 yards per game) in the NFL. That means that the odds are stacked against Brees for being the better performer of the two signal callers.

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Neither QB Will Throw For More Than 250 Yards

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I believe the matchup will be far more defensive heavy than most people think. For that reason, neither Brees nor Wilson will pass for more than 250 yards. I already stated that the Seahawks have the best pass defense in the league. However, the average fan may not realize that the Saints actually rank second in the NFL in opposing passing yards allowed (194.1).

Brees has only been held to under 250 yards once this season, which occurred against the Seahawks in Week 13. In that same game, Wilson passed for 310 yards and three touchdowns in what was arguably his best performance of the season.

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12th Man Won’t Be A Factor

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

In the week leading up to the game, every so-called football expert and Seahawks fan will want to discuss how the 12th man could be the difference maker. Personally, I don’t think it’s going to be a factor at all. Sure, it’s going to get loud and crazy inside the stadium, but Brees and the Saints will be able to handle it.

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Marshawn Lynch Will Rush For Less Than 100 Yards

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Marshawn Lynch went beast mode all over the Saints in the playoffs three years ago. That could very well happen again. However, my money is on the New Orleans defense slowing him down. The Saints held Lynch to just 45 yards on 16 carries a few weeks ago. His 2.8 yards per rushing attempt was his second worst of the season.

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Final Score Will Be Far Less Than Expected

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The amount of points per game the Seahawks and Saints score is incredibly close. Seattle averages 26.1 points per contest while New Orleans averages 25.9. The assumption is that it will be a high-scoring affair. However, I believe the final score will be far less than expected, with both defenses coming up big in limiting touchdowns.

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Richard Sherman Will Get Two Interceptions

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Sherman is the most intimidating and dangerous cornerback in the game. Quarterbacks refuse to throw his way, and when they do, they instantly regret it. He has a knack for making big plays and that will be no different this weekend. Expect Sherman to pick off Brees at least twice in the contest.

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Pressure Will Get To Russell Wilson

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Wilson has been unbelievable since his debut in the NFL just a year ago. In his first two seasons, he’s already accomplished more than a majority of quarterbacks did in their first two years. What’s even crazier is that he has lost just once at home, which occurred in Week 16 of this season.

With all of that being said, I believe the pressure could get to Wilson. Even though he’s not the type of player to let the size of the moment get to him, a playoff game against his idol could certainly do that. Not to mention, the expectations for the Seahawks are Super Bowl or bust. A majority of that will fall on Wilson’s shoulders.

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Jimmy Graham Will Be Contained

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Graham was fantastic during the regular season. He hauled in 86 receptions for 1,216 yards and a career-high 16 touchdowns. He was held to just three catches for 44 yards against the Eagles in the Wild Card round, and I don’t see much changing against the Seahawks this weekend. Seattle’s defense is simply too good to let a talented playmaker run wild. Brees and the offense will have to find other ways to score than utilizing Graham.

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Offensive Line Will Be Seattle’s Downfall

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks have everything going for them: a talented quarterback, a top-ranked defense and an offense that can pretty much score at will. Unfortunately, they do have a weak link, which is their offensive line. Wilson has been sacked 44 times and hit 93 times frequently in 2013. Don’t be surprised to see the Saints, which have a defense that has sacked quarterbacks 49 times this season, cause all sorts of issues for Wilson. If the Seahawks do lose the game, look no further than the play of the offensive line.

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Saints Will Defeat Seahawks

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

This is a bold prediction no matter how you look at it. Yes, New Orleans has an incredibly talented team that has the weapons to go the distance. At the same time, Seattle is the No. 1 ranked team in the NFC and most definitely the organization to beat. They have been heavy favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl since the start of the season and nothing has changed since. However, I believe the overwhelming experience of the Saints will allow them to make just one more necessary play than the Seahawks to move on to the NFC Championship Game.