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Seahawks stifle Saints in thriller, 23-15

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Seattle came into their home playoff game as the first seed in the NFC based on a 13-3 regular season and looked totally like a favorite as they stifled Drew Brees and that Saints offense that can score on anybody: on anybody else. Richmond, Virginia native Russell Wilson is in his second year as an NFL player and he came into this game at an incredible 15-1 in home games as quarterback for Seattle.

Wilson was a big factor for New Orleans to deal with because of his ability to adapt. He has what used to be called happy feet. He has very happy feet. In 2013 he ran the ball 96 times for 539 yards. Sometimes he has planned runs and sometimes he adjusts to good coverage. He's unpredictable. His 2013 passer rating of 101.4 is excellent for such a young player.

New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks: January 11, 2014...4 P.M.

The Seahawks came out and relentlessly ran the ball on the 11-5 New Orleans defense and essentially put the game away in the first half. Only a late first half Saints defensive stand that kept Seattle out of the end zone and held them to a field goal kept the game manageable: it was 16-0 at half time. Marshawn Lynch scored on a 15-yard run in the first half. The still fresh Seattle defensive line kept Drew Brees totally locked down early on.

As is typical when playing tough defensive fronts New Orleans was able to move the ball with their passing game in the second half but would there be enough space for Brees to throw.

New Orleans finally scored at the first moments of the fourth quarter and went for two and succeeded. With most of the fourth quarter remaining the Seahawks led 16-8. This game figured to be a low-scoring game as Seattle came in with daunting numbers defensively.

They were 7-1 at home in 2013. New Orleans, on the other hand, was 3-5 on the road this year. These were the two best home teams in the NFC. New Orleans was 8-0 at home this year.

In the first half Drew Brees was totally stifled. This was the man who threw for more than 5,000 yards for the second straight year. Last year he threw for 5177 and this year 5162. To hold the Saints under 20 points would be an amazing effort.

Late into this game the Saints had a touchdown and a two-point conversion to show for their effort.

Just before the two minute warning sounded Seattle's Marshawn Lynch scored on a 31-yard run and put the game officially and realistically out of reach. With 2:40 left Seattle kicked an extra point after the Lynch touchdown.

New Orleans scored a late touchdown and hit the extra point with 00:26 left and the on side kick is hanging in mid-air in Saints' fans minds. It was 23-15. Would a big breeze catch it and let it float?

Marques Colston believe-it-or-not retrieved the onside kick and with 00:26 the Saints had 59 yards to go for a regulation tie and overtime. In the closing seconds Colston then caught a pass and threw a forward lateral that was detected by, well, everybody and the referees as well who flagged it and the clock ran out by rule.

What a game! Seattle Seahawks 23 New Orleans 15.

New Orleans was stifled totally offensively in the first half while Seattle ran up a 16-0 lead. Seattle rushed for 174 yards on 35 carries tonight; Russell Wilson was 9-18 for Seattle and threw for just over 100 yards. Seattle always had a comfortable lead in the second half and was never in danger of losing the lead.

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