The New Orleans Saints defense held the top-ranked rushing offense of the Philadelphia Eagles to only 80 yards, but now it has to contend with the Seattle Seahawks and their No. 4-ranked running attack.
In the first meeting on Dec. 2, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson ran for a game-high 47 yards on eight carries, including one that covered 15 yards. As a team, the Seahawks ran for 127 yards in that game. The Saints (12-5) are hoping to do a better job this time.
"Coach Rob Ryan is a tremendous coach; he does a lot of things and he brings a lot of fire from all different directions," said Wilson. "And so, I think the thing is just being protected, making sure that you make the smart decision. Don't force anything if it's not there, just salvage the play. Throw it away or run it and get a couple of yards here or there."
"When you have a guy running it in Russell Wilson at quarterback and you have playmakers all around him, so we're expecting that," said Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis. "It's going to be tough, but our coaches do a good job of putting us in the right situations, so we'll be ready."
"It's very tough, but we play Cam Newton twice a year and you feel like he's one of those quarterbacks - elite, run, running style - and we did a good job with Cam," said Saints linebacker Junior Galette. "We feel like we'll be able to contain him."
The big guys up front for the Saints earned their paychecks Saturday in Philadelphia, pushing the Eagles around for 185 yards on the ground.
Of course, the Seahawks (13-3) are a whole different monster on that front, leading the league in the majority of defensive categories, except for run defense, where they're still ranked seventh. The Saints hope for a better effort than their 44 rushing yards in that Monday Night Football game.
Head coach Sean Payton is known for thinking outside the box with motivation, which includes a Seahawks logo on the practice field this week.
You can take an even deeper look at the showdown in Seattle with the Saints Game Plan special, which will air Friday at 6:30 p.m. on WAFB.
Kickoff for the game is scheduled for Saturday at 3:35 p.m. The game will be broadcast on FOX.
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