Seattle’s first playoff game is set, and it’s against an opponent which with the Seahawks have gotten pretty familiar — the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints rallied from a late deficit to beat the Eagles 26-24 Saturday night on a 32-yard field goal by Shayne Graham, who was in camp with the Seahawks in 2001 before being released, as time ran out.
The Seattle-New Orleans game, set for 1:35 p.m., will be a rematch of the Seahawks’ last home playoff game, a 41-36 win for Seattle on Jan. 8, 2011. That game was highlighted by one of the most memorable plays in Seattle sports history, Marshawn Lynch’s 67-yard “Beast Quake” TD run.
It will also be a rematch of one of Seattle’s biggest wins of the 2013 season, a 34-7 win over the Saints on Monday Night, Dec. 2 at CenturyLink Field.
New Orleans finished the season 11-5, and second in the NFC South behind Carolina.
The Saints were No. 2 in the NFL in passing this season at 307.4 yards per game, making it again an intriguing matchup of one of the best passing offenses against a Seattle pass defense that led the league in fewest passing yards allowed (172.0). However, one of the big reasons for New Orleans’ win over the Eagles was rushing for 185 yards and 5.1 yards per carry.
New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees said after the win in an interview on NBC that he hoped the Saints’ familiarity with CenturyLink will help.
“It’s loud, it’s crazy,” Brees said. “They’ve got a good thing going there. But having been there less than a month ago, I think that serves us well just knowing what to expect and how to prepare for it.”
Saints middle linebacker Curtis Lofton said the fact that New Orleans was able to finally get its first road playoff win in six tries “just adds to our confidence.”
Seattle and New Orleans are tied 6-6 in their all-time regular season series. The only playoff meeting between the two was the 2011 game.
And here’s some quick Twitter reaction from Seattle players to the matchup against the Saints:
Time to go to work!
— Michael Robinson (@RealMikeRob) January 5, 2014
So I guess it's the Saints! Preparation starts now! #GoHawks
— DeShawn Shead (@dshead24) January 5, 2014
Yeaaa boyyyy! Lets get it!
— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) January 5, 2014