By Danny Cox
The New Orleans Saints know they aren’t nearly as good on the road as they are in the not-so-friendly confines of the Mercedes Benz Superdome. They also realize that the cold weather hasn’t been their friend. Come Saturday, the Saints will have to deal with one of the most hostile crowds in all of football, but they won’t have to do it in weather that was even as cold as it was in Philadelphia this past weekend.READ MORE: California Healthcare Workers Say Ambulances Wait Hours With Patients Outside Hospitals
Currently though, there is a 100 percent chance of rain.
The Saints have to totally forget that the Seahawks defeated them 34-7 back in early December. If you ask any of them, they already have. Still, there are some things they have to take from that game and make sure that they’re done differently in the rematch.
1. Protect Drew Brees
Drew Brees was sacked just one time for a loss of three yards against the Seahawks, but he was pressured constantly. That pressure especially came early in the game and it caused Brees to rush a lot of his throws and misfire on plenty of them. The Saints couldn’t really get anything going, and it ended with them getting behind quickly. With that, they had to stick with the pass and abandon the run completely.
Early against Philadelphia, the Eagles were pressuring Brees and it caused two quick interceptions. Once Brees was not pressured, the Saints got their offense going and things worked for them.
2. Forget the noise and the 12th Man
The Saints play in one of the loudest and rowdiest stadiums in the NFL, and they’ve got to remember that. The Seahawks do have the “12th Man” and the added threat of being outdoors, but the Saints have to be prepared for it. All of the noise really shouldn’t bother them after playing in the Superdome, and it’s going to have to be something they prepare for in practice this week.READ MORE: Possible Explosive Device Outside Oakland Courthouse Forces Evacuations, Street Closures
3. Realize the road monkey is off of their backs
After the franchise lost its first five road playoff games, the victory was finally achieved. After a horrific season on the road, the Saints were able to go into a hostile environment, deal with the cold weather, on the road, and get a win in a huge game that really counted. There will be none of the talk this week that the Saints can’t win on the road and have problems in the cold. Yes, they didn’t play at their greatest against the Eagles, but they got the win.
No matter how much the players will say that their lackluster success on the road didn’t bother them, we all know it was in the backs of their minds. Now, they can throw all that out and focus primarily on the game.
4. Run the ball! Run the ball! Run the ball!
Against the Seahawks, the Saints got behind by a lot very quickly, and pretty much had to abandon the running game. They had a grand total of 44 yards, and it was a non-factor for the first match-up in Seattle. During the first half against the Eagles, the Saints had a good running game going, but then they steered away from it and mistakes were made in the passing attack.
In the second half, the Saints turned to Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson, who were both able to produce big-time on the ground. They ate up the yardage, protected the lead, and ran time off the clock while New Orleans had the lead. That was especially important on the final drive of the game that led to the last second field goal by Shayne Graham.
For more news and updates about the NFL Playoffs, visit NFL Playoffs Central.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.MORE NEWS: Fire Burns At Residential Building in San Francisco Mission District
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.