The Seattle Seahawks (13-3) will beat the New Orleans Saints (12-5) by a field goal, 27-24, in the first NFC Divisional playoff game Saturday.
From a fantasy football POV (Point of View), the two teams are equally matched but the Seahawks’ infamous “12th man” is worth at least a field goal. Plus the one meeting between the two teams on December 2nd was a one-sided victory for Seattle, 34-9, with Russell Wilson throwing for 310 yards and three touchdown passes.
New Orleans’ hopes are squarely pinned on generating an effective running game and their defense corralling Wilson, running back Marshawn Lynch and wide receiver Golden Tate. The Saints, led by third-year running back Mark Ingram, ran for 185 yards against the Eagles in the wild card game. Quarterback Drew Brees threw for 250 yards to give New Orleans a balanced offensive attack and a 26-24 win over Philadelphia.
The Saints “D” did a great job of limiting Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson to three catches, keeping running back LeSean Jackson under 100 rushing yards (actual total – 77) and holding quarterback Nick Foles to 195 yards passing.
In the December 2nd game, Seattle’s defense overwhelmed the New Orleans’ offense. The Saints rushed for only 44 yards and accumulated 147 yards in the air.
The starting tight ends for both teams will be worth watching in this game. Jimmy Graham of the Saints is the best tight end in fantasy football. Zach Miller was the leading receiver for Seattle in the December 2nd game with five catches for 86 yards and one touchdown.
The Seahawks are 7-1 at home. They have the defense to shut down New Orleans’ offense and have enough offensive weapons to triumph over the Saints’ defense.