As it turns out, the Buffalo Bills aren’t the only 4-12 team that had a hand in knocking off the defending Super Bowl champions.
The Bills’ decision not to shop running back Marshawn Lynch but instead to hand him to the Seahawks for fourth-round and sixth-round draft picks kept him from playing for the Saints, who according to Jay Glazer of FOX would have given up a third-round pick for Lynch.
The Bengals made their contribution not via a personnel blunder, but through the game film created when Cincy gave the Saints a tough fight during the regular season. Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck tells Peter King of Sports Illustrated that the Seahawks designed a play for the game based on a play that the Bengals used effectively against the Saints.
It’s a simple concept. The tight end throws a block on a passing play, lingers on the ground, and then gets up and finds himself wide open.
“We just did a good job of scheming them, and that play’s a perfect example,” Hasselbeck told King. “It’s the kind of play where you’ve got two or three guys throwing cut blocks, and you sell run, and it looks terrible, but if you run it right, the tight end ought to be able to get free.”
It worked, and the full game plan gave Hasselbeck and his teammates the kind of confidence that, as King points out, could be confused with delusion.
“I just don’t see it that way,” Hasselbeck said regarding the notion that the Seahawks pulled of a historic upset. “We all thought we were going to win.”
If they thought they would beat the Saints this past Saturday, we’ve got a feeling that they’ll also be thinking they’ll beat the Bears this coming Sunday.