— Marshall Cherrington (@mcherrington22) January 11, 2014
Six weeks ago, the Saints arrived in Seattle hoping to steal home field advantage from the Seahawks. Instead, they got their asses handed to them to the tune of a 34-7 blowout. Three weeks and two losses later and New Orleans nearly dropped out of the playoffs entirely. Of course, that was before the Saints rediscovered the wonders of Popeyes and painting your opponent’s logo on your practice field.
A regular season blowout loss doesn’t preclude the Saints from giving the Seahawks a game in the rematch. There have been worse regular season defeats that turned into postseason wins. The Jets suffered a worse Week 13 blowout loss to the Patriots on the road in 2010 (45-3) only to bounce back and win in the playoffs in Gillette Stadium six weeks later. If New Orleans can pull it off, no doubt Rob Ryan will be on the horn with Rex bragging that he did it too.
After a regular season during which he appeared in one game (against his former team, no less) and registered just one catch for 17 yards, Percy Harvin is expected to play for the first time in nearly two months. Seattle’s offense could use a little help lately. Since drubbing the Saints at home, Seattle offense topped out at 23 points over the last four weeks of the regular season, and that was a game in which Eli Manning threw five interceptions. That stretch also included the Seahawks’ first home loss in two years, which sows just enough doubt for talking heads not to spend all week boasting that Seattle is invincible at home. Also, the Wild Card victory in Philly thankfully seems to have silenced the “Saints can’t win on the road” narrative.
K.J. Wright is the most significant absence for the Seahawks, as the linebacker was responsible for covering Jimmy Graham in the first meeting. If Graham’s line from the regular season matchup of three catches for 42 yards and a TD doesn’t sound overly impressive, at least know that he was the Saints’ leading receiver in that game. Though with weather forecasts are calling for torrential downpour and wind gusts of 30 mph, the pass games could be limited by the elements already.
Meanwhile, seismologists installed two earthquake-reading devices in CenturyLink Field on Thursday in case the Saints let Marshawn Lynch break another 60+ yard run and grab his junk diving into the end zone. Breaking the Guinness crowd roar record and producing another isolated earthquake (that’s not really a earthquake) in the same season would assure Seattle fans crowing over their loudness for generations to come.