Good Morning. We got a little dusting of snow today in T-Town, but that sprinkling likely will turn the showers this afternoon and then possibly back to snow tonight, so it should be a bit cold today.
Here are five keys for the Seahawks as they try to shock the world and beat the defending Super Bowl Champs, the New Orleans Saints, this afternoon.
Get off the field: I think this is the key for Seattle defensively. The Saints were 11 of 15 on third down in the first game, with quarterback Drew Brees methodically picked them apart. Seattle’s defense was 2 of 14 against St. Louis last week, and they need a similar effort against New Orleans on third down today.
Rally to the ball: Seattle got some help with running backs Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas being placed on IR this week, but the Saints still have other playmakers like Reggie Bush, Marques Colston and Lance Moore, great runners with the ball after the catch, so the Seahawks need to be sure tacklers and get 11 defenders rallying to the ball.
Score early: New Orleans does a good job with their 15-play scripted plays to open the game and is one of the top scoring teams in the opening quarter, with the Saints outscoring their opponents 112 to 33 in the first quarter. Seattle has been outscored in the first quarter 89 to 55. So they have to flip that result today. Similar to a heavyweight fight, the Seahawks have to withstand the early barrage from the champion and not get knocked out in the first round in order to have a chance to win the game late.
Ground and pound: I know a lot has been said about Matt Hasselbeck throwing for 366 yards against New Orleans earlier this year, but I think the key to Seattle’s success on offense will be running the ball and establishing some balance. But they are going to have to do it differently than last week with only two healthy tight ends. I think Seattle is going to have play a lot of three and four-receiver sets to try and stretch the Saints defense horizontally and run out of more passing sets when the Saints have their nickel and dime personnel on the field. However they chose to do it, running the ball effectively will be critical today.
Score in the red zone: The Seahawks did a nice job of moving the ball against New Orleans in the first game, but they only got into the end zone one time. They have to turn those field goals into touchdowns today, because you know the Saints are going to put some points on the board.
One of Seattle’s main objectives for Seattle will be containing Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees, one of the best in the business.
Dave Boling of The News Tribune offers his blueprint for a Seahawks win.
Doug Pacey of The News Tribune offers this story on Hawk One, the ultimate tailgating Seahawks bus.
A video that has spread quickly on Youtube appears to show that a 20 oz. at Qwest Field contains as much beer as a 16 oz, even though the larger beer costs $1.25 more. A $20 oz. beer costs $8.50, while a 16 oz beer cost $7.25.
First and goal released a statement about this video and says everyone will be served a 20 oz. beer until they get the problem solved with the vender:
“We received a copy of the YouTube video showing the quantity of liquid served in the 16 oz. beer cup is the same quantity that fits into the 20 oz. beer cup. This is the first time we have been alerted to this fact. Upon our internal investigation this afternoon, we discovered the cups that are marked 16 oz. hold 20 oz. of liquid.
Fans who purchased a 16 oz. beer actually received 20 oz. of beer for the 16 oz. price. Fans that purchased the 20 oz. beer received the amount they purchased. We are working with Levy Restaurants to follow up with the cup vendor about the measurement and to determine how long this has been occurring at Qwest Field. We are determined to find a solution as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we will serve domestic beer in the 20 oz. cup at tomorrow’s playoff game to ensure all fans receive the amount they purchase, and we will charge the 16 oz. price.”
Check out the video below.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com says the 12th man could be the Seahawks biggest advantage on the field today.
John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes that we might be seeing an end of an era for Matt Hasselbeck.
ESPN’s Mike Sando offers his final word on the Hawks-Saints game.
Clark Judge of CBS Sports said the Saints will coast to an easy win.
Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated picks a Saints 20-13 win.
Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports writes that Pete Carroll’s philosophy of competing has translated into early success for Seattle.