Well, if you can't beat them, tie with them. In Week 7, the Seattle Seahawks faced a divisional foe in the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The game ended in a 6-6 tie, but the Seahawks still sit atop the NFC West at 4-1-1. This week, the Seahawks will be traveling to the Big Easy to face the New Orleans Saints.
Last week, Seattle’s defense played with physicality and grit, but its offense failed to punch the ball into the end zone against Arizona.
The Seahawks defense gave up 443 yards of offense, but it kept Arizona’s fifth-ranked offense out of the end zone and sacked quarterback Carson Palmer four times. Their defense is only giving up 14 points per game, which is tied for the best in the league. On the other hand, the Seahawks offense had a hard time generating traction in its rushing attack, and the game was left in the arm of quarterback Russell Wilson.
Seattle rushed for just 52 yards on 19 carries. Wilson tried his best to move the chains, but due to a knee injury he suffered in a 38-17 victory against the 49ers in Week 2, he has not been able to make plays with his legs. He had to operate strictly from the pocket, and Arizona’s defense knew that. Wilson finished the game with 225 passing yards.
At 2-4, the Saints offense is lethal and is averaging 29.3 points per game, which is third-best in the NFL. Quarterback Drew Brees is still carving up defenses with ease, but the Saints defense is surrendering more points than any team in the NFL.
Last week, the Saints took on the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium and lost 27-21. New Orleans’ offense gained 463 yards of total offense, and Brees finished the game with 367 passing yards to go along with three touchdowns and an interception. Saints rookie receiver Michael Thomas exploded for 10 catches for 130 yards.
The Saints committed two turnovers in that game. Their defense only gave up 326 yards and held Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith to 214 passing yards. However, Smith did not get sacked in that game.
This week, the showdown in the Big Easy should be an exciting matchup of one of the best quarterbacks of all time facing one of the best secondaries of all time. Earl Thomas is coming off a phenomenal game, but he has stiff competition heading his way this week. The Legion of Boom travels really well, ready to wreak havoc on opposing receivers and tight ends.
New Orleans' defense must apply pressure on Wilson. If the Saints give him too much time in the pocket, he will shred their defense to pieces. They must clog up rushing lanes as well. The Saints are giving up 116.8 rushing yards per game. Seattle’s rushing offense is ranked 27th in the league, but it only takes one amazing run to galvanize its run game.
Running back Christine Michael has 406 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the season for Seattle. He is a big, powerful back who has the speed to run past defenders and the strength to churn out extra yards.
Seattle is fighting to remain in first place in the NFC West, and New Orleans is battling to get out of third place in the NFC South.
How to Watch
When: 1 p.m. ET
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La.
Announcers: Justin Kutcher, Charles Davis, Chris Spielman, Holly Sonders
Online: Sunday Ticket, Fox Go Sports