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2011 NFL Playoff Schedule: New Orleans Saints Vs. Seattle Seahawks Game Preview

The New Orleans Saints played the Seattle Seahawks just seven weeks ago and beat the NFC West champions, 34-19. That game was in the SuperDome while this playoff matchup will be played in the Pacific Northwest at Qwest Field. Will it make a difference? Probably not. The Seahawks are the worst playoff teams in my Unbiased Power Rankings with a rating of 268.8. They are rated 23rd overall, lower than the Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans and Dallas Cowboys to name a few. This is a bad football team. Are we clear? The Saints are seventh overall with a 439.0 rating and finished the season as the fourth-best team in the NFC in my rankings.

Which team will still be playing next week? Let's dive in.

Saints Analysis

After a 30-17 home loss to the Cleveland Browns in Week 7, the Saints were 4-3 and headed for the typical Super Bowl hangover most teams endure. The hangover never materialized. The Saints ran off six straight wins and finished the year winning seven of nine to clinch the No. 5 seed in the NFC. Their big wins this season were against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons with two of those on the road. Losses to the Arizona Cardinals and Browns provide a blueprint for an upset but will Drew Brees let this team slip up?

Seahawks Analysis

The Seahawks were 5-3 at home this season and started the year 4-2 before stumbling to a 3-7 finish. In the first six weeks of the season they beat the San Diego Chargers and Chicago Bears so there's talent here but they also lost to the Denver Broncos, St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers so maybe there's not. No matter what happens now, the Seahawks are playing with house money and with the best home-field advantage in the NFL, who knows what could happen.

The Pick

I tried to build suspense but there's no upset potential here with the defending champion Saints keeping their eyes on a rematch with the Atlanta Falcons next week.

Saints 24, Seahawks 14

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.