Monday Night Football: Saints at Seahawks

Monday Night Football: Saints at Seahawks

The biggest game of the 2013 NFL season thus far — in the NFC at least — takes place in the most intimidating stadium in the league under the lights on Monday night. CenturyLink Field will be extra loud when the 10-1 Seahawks welcome the 9-2 Saints to town for a matchup with massive playoff implications in regards to home field advantage in the conference. Which NFC power holds the edge? Here’s a preview.

Saints at Seahawks (-5)

Drew Brees probably won’t surpass his TD totals from 2011-2012, but he has been his usual efficient self in tossing for 28 scores against 8 interceptions. Jimmy Graham and Pierre Thomas have been stars of the offense with Marques Colston, Lance Moore, and Darren Sproles all struggling to produce and stay healthy. Exploiting Seattle’s weakened secondary will be a focal point of Sean Payton’s game plan. Explosive offense aside, the story of the 2013 Saints is one about defense. After flopping in Dallas, coordinator Rob Ryan has transformed one of history’s worst units into a legit Top 5 bunch. Losing Jabari Greer to a shredded knee hurts, but free agent Keenan Lewis and rookie Kenny Vaccaro are both making plays on a weekly basis. New Orleans is 1-4 ATS on the road.

Russell Wilson is 13-0 at home. Despite a season-ending injury to Sidney Rice and nothing of note from Percy Harvin so far, Wilson has put up solid numbers with the likes of Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, and Jermaine Kearse at receiver. He’s also piled up 409 yards on the ground to complement Marshawn Lynch’s 925 yards and 9 touchdowns. Seattle owns the 2nd ranked scoring offense and 2nd ranked scoring defense. However, said defense has been depleted by suspensions to cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond. Needless to say, facing Drew Brees with a thin secondary is less than ideal. Overall, the defense has amassed 33 sacks and 16 interceptions. ‘Hawks are 3-2 ATS at home.

The Saints are 5-3 ATS outside of their division. The Seahawks are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 home tilts. This has the makings of an instant classic. New Orleans might lose, but look for them to cover.