Monday night was supposed to be a showdown between two of the top NFC teams in the conference. But if the showing by the Saints was a sign of things to come, there is an obvious gap in talent between the Seahawks and the teams behind them.
It was thought that the Saints high flying offense, led by Drew Brees, would be able to go back and forth with the Seahawks and we might have a high scoring battle. Instead, the Saints were only able to put up seven points on Monday night, while the Seahawks ran away with 34 of their own.
Brees had average completion numbers, going 23-38, but was only able to put up 147-yards. Russell Wilson went 22-30 and put up 310 yards of his own, but more importantly, he found the end zone on three separate occasions. Overall, the Saints only had 188-yards in total offense, while the Seahawks manhandled 429-yards over 33 minutes of possession.
This might be a very telling game for what could remain for the next few weeks in the NFC. The Seahawks, barring any kind of monumental collapse, are likely to get home field advantage throughout the playoffs. And with their fans setting a World Record on Monday with the loudest stadium, that’s looking like it’ll be a huge advantage in the coming weeks.
As for the Saints, they play the red-hot Panthers twice in the final weeks of the season. The Panthers are on an eight-game winning streak and a win, or two, could be huge for the outlook of the NFC South. The Saints, who were among the top teams in the league all year, will need to mix things up and get the ball rolling more against the Panthers than they did against the Seahawks. Otherwise, we could be looking at a historic year where the Panthers leap the Saints and get into the playoffs, meaning the Saints would be fighting for a wildcard spot instead.
As for the Seahawks, they needed a big win to show that the Broncos aren’t the clear best team in the NFL. And with their win on Monday, they showed that they are ready for whatever is coming.
Next week, the Saints are at Home against Carolina and 3.5 point favorites.