It's halftime at Qwest Field, and the underdog Seahawks have surprised the NFL by heading into the locker room with a 24-20 halftime lead. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has moved the ball effectively, and a couple of big stops have helped to keep the Saints' offense in check when it's mattered.
In the second quarter, the teams were tied at 17 when Hasselbeck orchestrated a third touchdown drive. Pete Carroll showed his willingness to take risks with a deep shot to wide receiver Brandon Stokley. Hasselbeck found him, and Stokley ran in for a 45-yard touchdown reception.
The Saints' offense was allowed 1:15 with which to work before halftime, and thanks to some apparently blown coverage, Drew Brees launched a 40-yard bomb to Devery Henderson. Before time expired in the first half, the Saints were able to manage a field goal, though the Seahawks' defense was at least able to stop them in the red zone.
Both quarterbacks are looking terrific. Hasselbeck has more than made up for his interception with three touchdown passes and 168 yards through the air. On the other side of the ball, Brees has thrown for 189 yards and a touchdown. Both running games have been somewhat effective, but it seems as though this game will be decided by its quarterbacks.
With the "12th Man" -- the nickname for the rowdy Seattle faithful -- behind them, the Seahawks are set to receive the ball in the second half. They're the first 7-9 team ever to appear in a playoff game, let alone win it. We'll see if they can make history, or if the defending champion Saints can take care of business.
Stay tuned to this StoryStream for further updates as the game progresses. And for more on these teams, be sure to check in with SB Nation's Saints blog, Canal Street Chronicles, and our Seahawks blog, Field Gulls.