TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: New Orleans Saints At Seattle Seahawks

New Orleans Saints
Seattle Seahawks
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Winner Every game is challenging in the NFL, but Drew Brees will have to be at his best for the Saints to have a reasonable chance to win in Seattle. Brees is one of the most accurate passers in the league, but he would be well-advised to concentrate on throwing decisive and quick passes that don’t allow the Seattle pass rushers a chance to dominate the game.
The Seahawks have a lot of things going for them in this game since they are coming off the bye week and they will have a raucous home crowd on their side. Russell Wilson may not be the most talented passer in the league, but there may not be a better leader in the game. He does everything well and he is smart enough to make the proper decision at the proper moment.
Offense
Winner The Saints don’t have a great running attack, but it is good enough with Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles to warrant some attention from the Seahawks. Tight end Jimmy Graham is this team’s dominant receiver, and the Seahawks will focus on stopping him. That means Marques Colston must have a strong game and look for Sproles to play a key receiving role as well.
Winner The Seahawks hope that Percy Harvin will be ready to make a bigger contribution in this game than he did in his comeback game against the Vikings. Harvin has game-breaking speed and gives the Seahawks another dimension on offense. Marshawn Lynch is one of the three best power running backs in football. Golden Tate is a solid receiver who can catch the ball in traffic.
Defense
The Saints have improved quite a bit on defense this season, and that’s one of the reasons they have moved to the top of the NFC South. The Saints rank fifth in yards allowed, and middle linebacker Curtis Lofton is one of the team’s unsung heroes. He has a team-high 86 tackles. Defensive end Cameron Jordan has a quick first step and he has 9.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Winner The Seahawks have an overwhelming defensive team as they rank second in yards allowed. While cornerback Richard Sherman is widely recognized as one of the best cover men in the NFL – he has 12 passes defensed and four interceptions – middle linebacker Bobby Wagner almost never misses a tackle and may be the defense’s best player. DE Michael Bennett has 6.5 sacks.
Special Teams
The Saints have done an adequate job in their punt and kickoff coverage, but they rarely make big plays on their own returns. Placekicker Garrett Hartley has not had his best season, as he has made just 20-of-26 FG attempts. Thomas Morstead gets excellent height on his punts.
Winner No team does a better job than the Seahawks at preventing opponents from gaining yardage on the punt returns. Opponents are averaging just 1.4 yards per punt return. Steven Hauschka has been having a sensational year, having made 24-of-25 FG attempts. Jon Ryan is a solid directional punter.

The Winner Is

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Winner Seattle Seahawks
3 out of 4

This game will go a long way to determining who gets home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs. The Seahawks are nearly impossible to beat at home and it would take a near-perfect effort to beat them in this game.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 4: Tight end Dennis Pitta #88 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with teammate quarterback Joe Flacco #5 after scoring a second quarter touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 04:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to throw a pass during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

    The Ravens and Patriots meet again in Gillette in what should be another great game.

  2. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 1:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys hands the ball off to Ezekiel Elliott #21in the first half of the game agains the Minnesota Vikings on December 1, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 04:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops back to pass in the first quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

    The NFC East rivals meet again in the Meadowlands as the Cowboys look to avenge their only loss of the year.

  3. SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes during warmups before a game against the Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field on December 4, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 04:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is pressured by Christian Covington #95 of the Houston Texans during the first half of a game at Lambeau Field on December 4, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers

    The Seahawks travel to Lambeau for a match-up with the resurgent Pack.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Seattle

DOWNLOAD IT NOW!
Watch Danny Bonaduce On DANNY TV
6 Business Card Mistakes New Owners Make

Listen Live