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Sunday, January 9, 2011

This season's playoff underdog vs. last season's Superbowl underdog; Saints vs. Seahawks

First off I don't see how the Saints were underdogs in the Superbowl last season. I mean they were the NFC's #1 seed and almost went undefeated if the Cowboys didn't beat them in the Superdome...

1st quarter. The Saints started out with all the momentum, their first drive Garrett Hartley, place kicker, hit a 26 yard field goal  to put the Saints ahead in 3:17 minutes (3-0 Saints). The Seahawks first possession was only 3 plays and the 3rd play was a pass by Matt Hasselbeck that was intercepted by Jabari Greer, of the Saints. The Saints, after 8 plays and a Drew Brees fumble recovered by Julius Jones, capitalized on the turnover with a 1 yard passing touchdown from Brees to Heath Evans (10-0 Saints). Matt Hasselbeck and the Seahawks answered back in 6 plays with an 11 yard passing touchdown to John Carlson (10-7 Saints).

2nd quarter (and 3:38 minutes of 1st quarter). Saints ate up 5 minutes on a 10 play touchdown drive, that was capped off with an 5 yard touchdown run by Julius Jones (17-7 Saints). In 2:38 minutes the Seahawks stroke back with an 7 yard touchdown pass to Carlson, again, (17-14 Saints). This is when the momentum shifted to the Seahawks and the 12th man [their fans nickname (most fans nickname, they just embrace it more)]. Seahawks defense, with the help of the 12th man, got the Saints offense off the field in a 3 play drive. Then the Seahawks had an only 3 play drive them self. Back to back 3 and outs. First play of the Saints next drive, Julius Jones fumbled on the Saints 21 yard line recovered by the Seahawks' defensive end, Raheem Brock. The Seahawks weren't able to get a touchdown or even a first down due to Jones' fumble but Olindo Mare, kicker, was able to nail a 29 yard field goal to make it a tied game (17-17). Another 3 and out for the Seahawks defense. Hasselbeck and Brandon Stockley connected for a 45 yard passing touchdown during a 9 play drive (24-17 Seahawks). First Seahawks lead of the game. Saints next possesion they had to settle for a 22 yard Hartley field goal to make it (24-20 Seahawks).
3rd quarter. Seahawks kept embracing their fans enthusiasm with a 38 yard passing touchdown to Mike Williams (31-20 Seahawks). About 7 minutes later, after an unimportant Saints possession, Seahawks hit a 39 yard field goal (34-20 Seahawks). 3 more possesions (2 Saints, 1 Seahawks) in 3rd quarter and a Saints possesion carried over to the...

4th quarter. On the continued Saints drive, 4 plays into the 4th quarter Julius Jones ran in for a touchdown for the 2nd time in the game from 4 yards out (34-27 Seahawks). Saints defense keep the Seahawks offense to 3 downs. Saints kick a 21 field goal after 8 plays and 3:27 minutes (34-30 Seahawks). Seahawks have to punt after and then so did the Saints. Now for the play that everyone will remember for a while and crowned Marshawn Lynch as 'beastmode' (video in links). A 67 yard rushing touchdown, breaking many, many tackles, almost going down by the line of scrimmage, and carried a few defenders for a few yards, by Lynch to make many band wagon fans switch wagons from whoever to the Seahawks (41-30 Seahawks) with only 3 minutes and 22 seconds left for the Saints. Drew Brees got his team down the field in around 2 minutes and finished the drive off with a touchdown pass to Devery Henderson but they failed on the 2 point conversion (41-36 Seahawks). Then Hartley did not help the cause and kicked the onside kick to hard which made for an easy, easy recovery for the Seahawks' Carlson, who had 2 touchdowns in the game. Therefore victory formation for Matt Hasselbeck and the Seahawks and they knocked out the #5 seed and reigning world champions.

Top Passer: Drew Brees with 39 completions of 60 attempts for 404 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions.
Top Seahawk Passer: Matt Hasselbeck with 35 attempts for 22 completions, 272 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 1 interception.
Top Rusher: Marshawn Lynch had 19 carries for 131 yards and the 67 yard 'beast mode' touchdown.
Top Receiver: Devery Henderson had 7 catches for 77 yards and 1 touchdown.
Top Seahawk Receiver: Brandon Stokley with 19 catches for 73 yards and 1 touchdown.

The Seahawks were the first team, in NFL history, to win their division with a losing record (7-9). Many people were about 95% positive that the Saints would crush the Seahawks. The other 5% were probably members of the 12th man (made up %). From what I can tell, as I stated earlier, there are ton of new members on the Seahawks band wagon so I'm pretty sure by next weekend it will collapse in Chicago, it is a long trip from Seattle to Chicago on a wagon that is full of flip-flop fans. Without the 12th man the Seahawks are at 1% chance to win in Chicago where the Bears defense is always ready to rock a QB. I usually root for the underdog so I rooted for Seattle in this game but last season I never rooted for the Saints though they were considered 'underdogs'. Also I think I'm done rooting for Seattle I'm not fond of being considered a band wagoner, but of course everyone that doesn't have a team in the playoffs will be rooting for a team to win it all just for that playoff. I have to say it...It was Sleepless in Seattle saturday night.

Links:
Boxscore- NFL.com: http://bit.ly/f7vFhu
Lynch's 67 yard TD run video- YouTube.com: http://bit.ly/iaDwAT
Victory defining for Hasselbeck, Seahawks- ESPN.com: http://es.pn/gStGX9
Saints' magical ride comes to an end- ESPN.com: http://es.pn/hq5rws
One "Beast Mode" of a run- Seahawks.com: http://bit.ly/fZteVU
Hasselbeck: The week that was- Seahawks.com: http://bit.ly/ihvTSY
Seahawks' stunner- Seahawks.com: http://bit.ly/ifwvhy
Saints See Season End With 41-36 loss- NewOrleansSaints.com: http://bit.ly/ekNMaY
Saints-Seahawks Postgame Notes- NewOrleansSaints.com: http://bit.ly/hUVXy4
Saints-Seahawks Postgame Quotes- NewOrleansSaints.com: http://bit.ly/fhJOdR

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