What looked to be a terrific matchup pitting Russell Wilson and Drew Brees against one another before the season started has now become a much less tantalizing game featuring Wilson vs. Teddy Bridgewater as the Seattle Seahawks get set to host the New Orleans Saints this Sunday.
Brees suffered a thumb injury that will keep him out for quite some time last weekend, so now, the Saints must find a way to survive.
Not that the Seahawks care.
Seattle has gotten off to an impressive 2-0 start and is looking to take care of business at home.
Here are four reasons why the Seahawks will emerge victorious in Week 3.
4. A Limited Saints Offense
Not to take anything away from Bridgewater, who is a very capable starting quarterback in the NFL, but he is not Drew Brees.
New Orleans’ quick-hitting offense with Brees’ historic precision will be reduced greatly, and even if Bridgewater will fill a similar role with fast, short throws, it just won’t be the same.
As a result, the Saints will have to lean a lot more on Alvin Kamara, and the Seahawks know this.
Not that Seattle has a fantastic run defense, but the Seahawks are at least a solid defensive ballclub, and they are surely game-planning for a heavy dose of Kamara this weekend.
3. Seattle’s Ground Game
The Saints boasted a surprisingly strong run defense last season, ranking second in the NFL, but this year, they have been anything but strong, as they currently rank 27th in the league in defending the run.
Much of that probably has to do with the absence of Sheldon Rankins, who is nursing a torn Achilles he suffered last year in the playoffs. Rankins is not expected back this weekend, so the Seahawks should be able to have their way on the ground.
Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny comprise a formidable duo in the backfield, and we know that Wilson can take off and run, as well.
Look for Seattle focus on establishing the run early to open up the field for Wilson and the receivers.
2. The Play of Russell Wilson
Not enough people talk about Wilson as one of the best quarterbacks in the game.
Wilson has been sensational thus far this season, throwing for 495 yards and five touchdowns while completing 78.2 percent of his passes and posting a passer rating of 134.5.
Most importantly, he has not thrown any interceptions.
The 30-year-old should be able to pick apart a struggling Saints defense that ranks 24th in the NFL overall, and you know he is not going to make many mistakes, if any at all.
1. The 12th Man
Seattle is well-known for boasting one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL, and the Saints will get a taste of that this Sunday.
The Seahawks went 6-2 at home last year and have historically been very difficult to beat within the hostile confines of CenturyLink Field, particularly since Wilson took over at quarterback in 2012.
With the Saints missing their starting signal-caller and with the Seahawks rolling, it is going to be very tough for New Orleans to be able to steal a victory here.