New Orleans Saints
Seattle shouldn’t hope to follow the same route to as their previous victory over New Orleans if they want to advance to the NFC title game next week.
Six weeks ago, the New Orleans Saints suffered their worst loss of the season in a game where they were absolutely demolished by the Seattle Seahawks. Immediately afterward, head coach Sean Payton told his players to put the game behind them because they would get another shot. Payton was right as the Saints are meeting the Seahawks again, and there are four big things they need to do, in order to win.
The first time the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints met in Week 13, it was for NFC Supremacy. Now in Week 19, the true force of the NFC will be revealed.
The road was kind in the wild-card round. The next challenge might be more daunting for the Saints, 49ers and Chargers. Not to mention the Colts, the only team to win at home this weekend.
Saints head coach Sean Payton pointed to New Orleans’ nearly 10-minute edge in time of possession, converting seven of 13 third downs compared to the Eagles’ three of 12.
Nick Foles threw 29 touchdown passes, including two against the Saints, and only two interceptions, setting an NFL record for best TD/interception ratio. His passer rating of 119.2 was the third-highest in NFL history. He finished 8-3 as a starter.
The NFL has fined Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch $50,000 for violating the league’s media policy.
The New Orleans Saints finally came up with the right plan for outdoor playoff football in cold weather. It got them their first postseason road victory.
Ten years after Drew Brees led Westlake High School to the Texas state championship, Nick Foles came along and broke many of his passing records but couldn’t deliver another title for the Austin-based school.
Every game this weekend has fascinating plots, from Cincinnati trying to break its playoff futility to the Frozen Tundra earning its sobriquet with a 30-below wind chill expected Sunday.
Seattle has already faced, and beaten, both the Saints and 49ers this season but not the Packers. Does the unknown help or hurt a team in the Playoffs?
Last year, the 49ers made an improbable run to the Super Bowl, before falling one play short of reaching the ultimate team goal. They lost to the Baltimore Ravens, a more experienced team that rode momentum all the way to a Championship. This year it’s San Francisco who fits this description and unlike last year, the Niners have everything in place to get past the rest of the NFC.
The Cincinnati Bengals had a great season and are looking forward to welcoming the San Diego Chargers into Paul Brown Stadium for the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Even with that game on the immediate horizon, the 2014 opponents for the Bengals have now been set.
You again? It begins with the Colts hosting the Chiefs on Saturday. At night, in the only first-round game not involving teams that faced each other this season, New Orleans is at Philadelphia.
Both the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers sit tied atop the NFC South at 10-4. One of them will emerge as the winner of the conference in two weeks. The question is, who will secure the division title?