Kristian's Quick Hits: Loose Saints should win a tight game
The Saints look to be a loose team headed into tonight's Battle in Seattle, they've been here before ahead of a monster game with tons of potential ramifications on the line. Don't misunderstand, by loose I mean confident and aware of what's in front of them. By loose I also mean very respectful of the Seahawks that own the NFL's best record at 10 and 1. The Saints have reason to be confident. They match up with Seattle perhaps better than any other team in the NFL. If there is a team that can go on the road and take down the Hawks and the 12th man, it's New Orleans.
The forecast for today calls for rain off and on all day, and cold temperatures in the 40's, falling into the during the game 30's. The players say they've mentally and physically prepared for foul weather conditions and will not use that as an excuse if they lose. The Saints are 2 and 6 when the game time temp is under 40 degrees (when the starters play). They lost in 2009 at Carolina in the final game of the season, most of the starters rested that game.
The Saints have to stop Marshawn Lynch, a physical runner that can absolutely take over a game if he gets going. Lynch is having a monster season with 928 yards rushing and 9 TD's so far. The biggest storm the Saints might face is the crowd noise. They can't allow the Seahawks to get off to a fast start and work that crowd into frenzy even further. More importantly, the Saint defense has to get off the field on 3rd down; an area they struggled with against the Falcons last week.
I've gone back and forth on my pick this week. In the end, I like the Saints to pull this one out. They've been told all week that they can't, therefore they will. This game has Sean Payton's edge written all over it. I predict: 27-24 the Saints win and gain the inside track on the #1 seed in the playoffs.