After a devastating loss on Monday Night Football, Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints quarterback, faced the facts and told the media that the road to the Super Bowl will be paved through Seattle, not New Orleans. The Seattle Seahawks took the win Monday, beating the visiting Saints with a 34-7 blowout. Brees was correct. The Seahawks (11-1) own the best record in the NFC and have home field advantage on lock down.
The potential of a Seattle home field advantage should terrify the other NFC contestants. Russell Wilson, Seahawks quarterback, has yet to lose at home in his career, with a perfect 14-0 at CenturyLink Field. That statistic says enough about the Hawks’ chances in the playoffs, but it goes beyond that.
This team is built for a postseason run. Time proved that the blueprint for surviving postseason football is to play great defense and to find a way to run the ball. The Seahawks arguably do those two things as well as anyone.
Regarding defense, when at home, Seattle allows on average a menial 14 points per game to their opponents. It is nearly impossible to defeat a playoff team while scoring 14 points.
The Saints were anointed one of the premiere offenses in the league, yet they could only manage seven points in Seattle. How could less offensively talented teams like the Philadelphia Eagles or the San Francisco 49ers hope to pose a threat in the playoffs?
In the run game, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is sixth in rushing yards right now. “Beast Mode” also put up nine rushing touchdowns.
Lynch rose to superstar status in recent years, and it is for good reason. He runs just as hard, maybe harder, than any back in the league.
By NATHAN MARKLE
Once the postseason is here, the Hawks could have Wilson turn and handoff to Lynch 30 plus times a game and punish the opposing defense. There is not much an opposing defense can do, especially not once the Seahawks’ Pro Bowl littered offensive line heals up.
Also, the defense will have to contend with the roll-out, scrambling capabilities of Russell Wilson. Still not convinced? The Seahawks finally have strong athlete Percy Harvin available for reverses, screens and all sorts of other plays.
As Brees can attest, nobody wants to travel to Seattle for an elimination game, and the fans may be the team’s most vital asset.
The beloved 12th man is in full affect this season. During Monday night’s game the crowd created such a ruckus that decibel levels topped that of a jet engine roaring at full power.
The last time there was a playoff game in Seattle the fans were so boisterous they shook the earth—literally. Seismic activity was measured to have occured immediately outside the stadium.
The Seahawks might be the scariest team going in to the homestretch, even more frightening than Manning and his weapons.
Passing game can be slowed in cold, intense playoff atmospheres. Defense and the running attack are better suited for the playoffs, especially if you excel at those things the way Seattle does and you are ensured home field.
The rest of the NFC has its work cut out for it. Going into Seattle to play the Seahawks during the playoffs will be like heading into dreamland to fist fight Freddy Krueger. Good Luck!