(1090 The Fan) — As reported earlier, it’s hard to imagine Saturday’s matchup between the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks will be anything like the Week 13, Monday Night Football blowout that ended with a 34-7 win for Seattle.

This past Wild Card Weekend, the Saints survived a trip to Philadelphia by squeaking past the Eagles 26-24. New Orleans’ defense stepped it up by only allowing 256 yards of offense. Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was sacked twice and held to under 200 yards passing — and LeSean McCoy, who lead the NFL’s top-rushing offense in 2013, wasn’t a factor the entire night.

Based on that performance, it wouldn’t be a shocker if the battle we see on Saturday is a low-scoring affair; both teams have elite defensive players with playoff experience.

Matthew Evans of Rant Sports lists the five key matchups that will take place at CenturyLink Field on Saturday, and, as expected, one of the factors at play is the 12th Man. Evans says, “New Orleans will need to do everything they can to take the crowd out of the game as early as possible. Look for them to take the ball first if they win the coin toss. Receiving the ball to start the second half will be less effective if you are already down by 20 points like they were in December.”

Read up on the remaining four key matchups at Rant Sports: 2014 NFL Playoffs: 5 Key Matchups in Seahawks vs. Saints

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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