Monday, January 6, 2014

New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks - Divisional Round Simulation

Heading into a tough game in Seattle, where the Seahawks have only lost once in the past two seasons, the New Orleans Saints will have to play a near perfect game if they want to move on to the NFC Championship. Back in week 13 the Saints were embarrassed as the Seahawks beat them 34-7 in Seattle.

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Who Will Win?
Seattle Seahawks0%
New Orleans Saints0%












The Seahawks won the toss and elect to receive.

On the opening possession the Saints defense was able to force a 3 and out. Russell Wilson tried to scramble for a 1st down on 3rd and 7 but only picked up 4 yards.

The Saints were able to grab a 3-0 lead on their first possession, a drive that went 12 plays for 58 yards. New Orleans was able to convert on three 3rd downs, two of them were picked up on Drew Brees and Darren Sproles connections over the middle. Saints threatened to score a touchdown but on third down from the Seahawks 8, Brees overthrew Jimmy Graham in the corner of the end zone.

Once again the Seahawks were forced to punt after another three and out. An incomplete pass, a Marshawn Lynch run stopped at the line of scrimmage and a Junior Galette sack on third down got the job done for the Saints.

After a beautiful punt return by Sproles, the Saints were set up inside the Seahawks 40 to start their drive.

It looked like the Saints were in business after a 25 yard completion to Graham on a play action pass, but Brees was picked off by Richard Sherman in the end zone on the next play.

The quarter comes to a close on a Russell Wilson 24 yard run on third and 3, setting the Seahawks up at the Saints 32.


End of 1st: Saints 3 Seahawks 0

On the very first play of the second quarter, Wilson gets his first completion of the game to Doug Baldwin, who picked up 14 yards and a first down, but was stripped by Corey White, and it was recovered by Roman Harper.

However the Saints were unable to take advantage and they were forced to punt after a 3 and out.

After a 20 yard punt return by Golden Tate, the Seahawks went 57 yards on 8 plays to take a 7-3 lead. The touchdown was set up thanks to a 29 yard pitch and catch from Wilson to Tate, and then Jermaine Kearse on 3rd and 5 made a catch in traffic to pick up nine. Lynch capped off the drive with a 3 yard touchdown run.

New Orleans was able to answer with a touchdown of their own and take a 10-7 after a 9 play 71 yard drive.

Once again it was the Saints ability to convert third downs that kept this drive alive. On third and short, Brees hit Ben Watson for 4 yards, and the next play Brees dumped it off to Sproles who took off for 20 yards. The Saints faced a 3rd and 6 but were able to convert as Brees found Marques Colston open for 26 yards. Mark Ingram scored the touchdown, running it in from 4 yards out on 3rd and 1. It appeared as if he was going to be stopped behind the line of scrimmage but broke a Brandon Mebane tackle before running it in.

Running their two minute offense, the Seahawks did their best to get down the field in a hurry. Wilson hit his tight end Zach Miller for 11 yards, then connected with Golden Tate three times for 16, 18 and 22 yards but with time running out, they had to settle for a Steven Hauschka 35 yard field goal and went into halftime tied at 10.


At the Half: Saints 10 Seahawks 10


Despite picking up a few first downs, the Seattle defense was able to force New Orleans to punt it away on the opening possession of the second half.

Seattle was putting together a nice drive, as their offensive line was winning all the battles in the trenches against the Saints front 4, allowing Lynch to put together a string of nice runs. But after a David Hawthrone sack, it forced Seattle into a 3rd and long which they were unable to convert

Darren Sproles continued to pick up big yardage on his punt returns, and set the Saints up at midfield.

The Saints took advantage of the short field, and only used 5 plays to find the endzone. Lance Moore picked up 24 yards on first down, and Sproles also picked up 24 yards on a screen pass, however this was on third and 6, and he was tackled out of bounds at the 1 yard line. Mark Ingram ran it in for his second touchdown of the night, giving the Saints a 17-10 lead.

Needing a spark on offense, the Seahawks brought in Robert Turbin to see what he could do against the Saints defense, and he responded with runs of 17 and 31 yards, before Wilson connected with Tate for 16 yards, setting up the Seahawks deep in Saints territory.

After 3: Saints 17 Seahawks 10

It did not take long for the Seahawks to tie this game up at 17, as Russell Wilson threw a beautiful pass to Miller in the back of the end zone, on the first play of the 4th quarter. It was a 13 yard touchdown.

The following drive, Drew Brees just picked apart the Seattle secondary. He went 5-5 for 51 yards, including a Jimmy Graham 6 yard touchdown, giving the Saints a 7 point lead with 5:30 minutes remaining.

Facing a third and 10 from their own 20 yard line, Russell Wilson scrambled away from pressure, found a ton of running room up the field and picked up 43 yards, keeping the Seahawks drive alive.

Just two plays later, Wilson continued his tremendous drive, picking up another first down with his legs, gaining 13 yards, and then found Ricardo Lockette 14 yards down the field, picking up a first down at the Saints 8. On second down, Lynch was able to slam his way up the middle, as he bullied himself into the endzone to tie the game up at 24.

With just 3 minutes left in the game, the Saints took over from their own 22.

The Saints picked up two first downs on three consecutive runs after the 2 minute warning, and the Seahawks defense looked absolutely gassed. Brees picked up two more first downs through the air, before handing the ball off to Khiry Robinson and Ingram, forcing Seattle to take their final two timeouts.

New Orleans picked up another first down on a third and 1 at the 7 yard line, before calling a timeout with just 3 seconds left, setting up Shayne Graham for a game winning field goal for the second consecutive week. This time it was just a chip shot from 24 yards out, and he nailed it, sending the Saints to the NFC Championship, and giving New Orleans an almost impossible win in Seattle.

Final: Saints 27 Seahawks 24

Stats



PlayerCompAttPass YdsINTRush YdsRecRec YdsTDs
Drew Brees253430411
Russell Wilson1421171921
Mark Ingram76172
Marshawn Lynch732
Robert Turbin61
Khiry Robinson15
Darren Sproles9578
Golden Tate5101
Jimmy Graham7921
Marques Colston354
Lance Moore336
Zach Miller4321
Doug Baldwin218

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