Line: Seahawks -7.5

These two teams are polar opposites of one another and that is likely to lead to a very interesting matchup on Saturday afternoon. The Seahawks were the dominant home team in the NFL this season and thus earned a first round bye and home field throughout the conference playoffs. The question is how will the time off affect the team’s performance? Will the rest lead to a little rust? Due to their dominance this season they have not played a game of any real significance in over a month and will have to be ready from the opening kickoff against a New Orleans team that is coming off a big road win last week.

The Eagles were one of the hottest teams in the NFL down the stretch of the season and were the favorite last week in the wild card round matchup versus the Saints. New Orleans plays half of its games in their dome and many prognosticators picked the Eagles to prevail. Instead the Saints went into the hostile and cold territory in Philly and were able to come up with a big drive when it counted to secure a victory and a matchup with the Seahawks this week.
Its funny when people question the NFL potential of Johnny Manziel they always mention his height as a detriment. It’s amazing that these doubters can think that way when you look at the two quarterbacks in this game. Drew Brees fell out of the first round of the draft after a stellar college career due to his lack of size and all he has done is lead his team to a Superbowl, shatter several league records, transform the Saints into a perennial contender, and consistently sit amongst the leagues top 5 quarterbacks. When last season began all of the hype surrounded top draft picks Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck. While they both had fantastic seasons the most successful rookie quarterback was Russell Wilson who went from a 4th round pick to a playoff teams starter. He then continued this season with the best record in the conference. Both Brees and Wilson are undersized by traditional standards and yet sit amongst the leagues best.

The Saints face an incredibly difficult task having to play in Seattle who has the strongest home field advantage in the league. They will have to rely on Brees and the offense to find a way to get points on the board. The Seahawks offense may have the returning Percy Harvin at wide receiver, which would add a huge dimension to their offense. One thing is for sure, the Saints special teams cannot afford to allow any points against the strong return group of the Seahawks. Also it is critical that the Saints don’t commit turnovers that will lead to points for the defense. The Seahawks do not have an explosive offense and if you don’t give them any free chances you will have a chance to win in the end.

Pick: Saints +7.5

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