Saturday’s NFC Division Round game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints seemed over. Marshawn Lynch was in true “beast mode” when he rushed for his second touchdown of the game and put the Seahawks up 23-8 late in the fourth. The stalwart Seattle D and the notorious “12th Man” rendered Drew Brees’ usually prolific offense nearly useless. Then the Saints found some rhythm, seemingly out of nowhere.
Down by two scores, Brees went into a hurry-up offense that finally cracked the shiny veneer of the Seattle defense. The quarterback marched his team down the field and completed a tidy 80-yard touchdown drive, narrowing the Seahawk lead to 23-15. Then it was time to pull out an on-side kick, a desperation play, which rarely works especially when teams are expecting it. But wouldn’t you know, the hands team of Seattle couldn’t handle the squibber and Marques Colston recovered. The Saints would have one last chance.
For a second, there seemed to be a hush on the usually raucous crowd. Could the Saints pull off a Colts-like miracle comeback?
Brees has precious seconds to spare. He completes a short pass to Colston. Then for some reason, when the wide receiver catches the ball around midfield with seconds to play, he does not step out of bounds to stop the clock in order to have one last Hail Mary play to the end zone. Colston instead attempts to lateral a pass to Travis Cadet, but it’s a forward lateral. Ten-second penalty, game over.
Head coach Pete Carroll has built one of the best defenses in the game. Even though quarterback Russell Wilson was held to a paltry 18 attempts for 103 yards with no touchdowns, Seattle still won the game, rather easily. Marshawn Lynch was once again truly a beast, running 140 yards on 28 carries. Carroll spoke of the importance of Lynch to the team. “He battles every week, and when you give him a chance, he makes plays. He’s had a consistent run for us — I saw a stat the other day that it was three straight 1,000-yard years with 10-plus touchdowns. You have to love his last touchdown run — it was a cool way to end that game and give us the chance and the score we needed to put them away.”
— Heather Burns (@hburns33) January 12, 2014
Seattle will meet up with NFC division rival San Francisco next Sunday in the NFC Championship Game. Seattle will once again try to rally behind the best home field advantage in sports. The winner of that game will earn the right to go to the Super Bowl on February 2nd in New Jersey.
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