Saints @ Seahawks My Top 5 Game Objectives
The New Orleans Saints will be paying us a visit December 2nd at Century Link Field a battle of this years NFC titans. The winner of Monday nights game will decide the who is really the "Top Dog" in the NFC. This is not a game Seahawks nation should take lightly considering the losses of Sidney Rice, the suspension of Walter Thurmond III, and the injury to Brandon Browner as you can tell by now the list goes on. We have revamped in those areas with the return of Percy Harvin last week, and a recently signed Perrish Cox who from what I heard is pretty much a special teams guy who formerly played for are other rivals (49ers). Talk about revamped
The New Orleans Saints are not a joke this year coming in at 9-2 and ranked #1 in the NFC South division. Their only two losses came from New England who beat them 27-20 in Foxbourough, and 26-20 loss to the Jets in at their place. Drew Brees his having another outstanding year as always completing 68.3% of his passes for 3647 yards 28 TDs and 8 INT. It seems as if he’ll be hitting another 5000 yard season.
If Calvin Johnson is Megatron, Jimmy Graham is Optimus Prime not to get to high on Saints personnel. He’s already got 11 TD’s and if we don’t keep him in check Monday night he’ll be having his 1000 yard season on us.
It will be interesting to see how we match up against these guys. Really it’s tough to worry about their defense even with Rob Ryan doing a terrific job as defensive coordinator. They are however top 5 in defensive YPG (yards per game) and defensive pass YPG. Currently they rank 15 in rushing yards allowed. And I said its tough to worry about. Silly me, fortunately I’m not the one coaching Monday nights game but if i were here is what we’d be looking at and not in any particular order
1. STOP THE PASS
It is important to not let these guys have their way in the passing game. The Saints are only 2nd to the Broncos in league passing yards per game and as my old coach Jackpot used to say, "Nothing deep, nothing cheap!" That is definitely going to be a tall order and an even taller order stopping TE Jimmy Graham who is hands down a top 3 receiver anyway you look at it. Seattle right now has a depleted back end with Thurman and Browner gone due to both injuries and suspensions. Need I say forget about them, Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell will have to step up considerably to make up for those two. On paper the match up looks favorable to the Saints but we need to get pressure on Drew Brees from our front 4 and our linebackers from time to time. I expect to see mixed coverages and blitzes coming from all across the board. The Saints offense has a lot of zone scheme to it. Drew Brees never really has to move much in the pocket and he is usually throwing the ball to spots as opposed to having to scramble or make tough throws. Their passing game needs to be disrupted with timing which means things like sending 5 rushers and playing press coverage. Keep an eye on Jimmy Graham with an extra guy and make sure we see what Darren Sproles is doing in the back field because we know how Brees abuses defenses with his check downs.
2. CONTAIN RUNS
The Saints this year rank 23rd in rushing offense so they aren’t much to worry about from that standpoint. They are a predominant passing team. In the running game we should watch out for draw plays which work very complementary to their passing game. In any football game running the ball defines will and toughness. We do not want their O line getting comfortable and I doubt our front 7 we do a great job of that. I don’t think we’ll be seeing a lot of dive or power runs, we should look to so stop trap runs and of tackle runs because New Orleans does not have a between the tackles back who could take punishment from the likes of KJ Wright, Bobby Wagner or Malcolm Smith.
3. ESTABLISH THE RUN
It is important that we establish the run. After all its our staple and on top of that Russell Wilson probably won’t throw more than 25 times in a game. We also very well know that we want to keep Brees off the field for as much as possible because if he catches fire completing passes we won’t be able to to keep up with our running style offense. We know Beast Mode is Beast Mode and Russell helps with his creating ability. Robert Turbin will need to see more carries along with Texas A&M rookie Christine Michael. This will open up things on the back end with receivers Percy Harvin, Golden Tate and Jermaine Kearse which I feel have an advantage against the Saints DB’s
4. HARVIN NEEDS TOUCHES
What good is a new toy if you don’t use it? If those two touches from last week are any indication of what Percy Harvin can do on a regular basis he needs to see the ball at least 20 times a game. The guy is explosive and not to mention he makes the complete offense better. We need to get him the rock often and early.
By this the 12th man needs to keep the place rocking(remember back in 2011 our 7-9 team whipped the Saints after Beast Mode went on one of his massive runs). Come to the game in full Seahawks attire and face paint. Have a few beers why not? This is the most important game of this season and we as Seahawks fans are very much apart of this. Drew Brees should have plenty delay of game penalties and their offense should have the most trouble they’ve had all season. We need to make the Saints forever dreading the thought of coming to Century Link for the fear of losing their hearing as well as loosing to the Hawks.
In closing I have a few updates. Percy Harvin is doubtful, he is coming off hip surgery and last game was just to get the dust off. Coach Pete Carroll has revealed to media that Harvin’s hip is still a little sore from the Vikings game so don’t get your hopes to high. That Perrish Cox guy i was talking about, well he just got cut and a man by the name of DeShawn Shead from Portland State will be called up from the practice squad in his steed. Home field advantage is on the line Monday night and I’m expecting a nail biter, in fact I haven’t eaten anything since Turkey Day just thinking about this game. To calm my nerves I’ll probably be rolling one up for my pre-game ritual to help my mind stay at ease. Browner and Thurmond will probably be doing the same as the rest of Seahawks fans. Lets just hope we’re not in over our heads when the games begin. #GOSEAHAWKS!