Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll wants his team to forget what happened a month ago.
The Seahawks hammered the New Orleans Saints in a convincing 34-7 victory in Seattle on Dec. 2. New Orleans’ high-powered offense was held to just 188 yards in the game and Drew Brees posted one of the worst performances of his career with the Saints. Brees threw for just 147 yards on 38 attempts. The 3.9 yards per attempt was the lowest mark during his tenure in New Orleans.
The two teams meet again this Saturday in the Divisional Round of the NFC playoffs.
Despite the dominant performance against New Orleans, Carroll says the Seahawks have to start anew and put last month’s victory out of their minds.
“Start all over again,” Carroll said. “It has nothing to do with what happened before. We learned and we gained information in the game, as they did. We start all over again and really start from scratch.”
“I think it would be a mistake to try and call it because of what’s happened in the past. We don’t care about that.”
In the first meeting, the Saints tried to pressure Russell Wilson and Seattle made them pay. The Seahawks took advantage of miscommunications in man coverage by the Saints to hit a big play to Zach Miller and a touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin. Baldwin also beat safety Malcolm Jenkins in man coverage as Seattle caught the Saints in an all-out blitz.
In addition to the big plays from Seattle’s offense, the Saints couldn’t move the ball against Seattle’s defense either. The Saints rushed for just 44 yards. Jimmy Graham was held to three catches for 42 yards and the Saints’ only touchdown of the game.
But the Saints earned their first road playoff victory in franchise history on Saturday against the Philadelphia Eagles and are going to want to prove they’re better than the performance they posted five weeks ago. Carroll said making sure his players know they can’t expect the same outcome because of how they played in the last meeting will be a major focal point this week for the coaching staff.
“They’re going to hear about it,” Carroll said. “I think it’s just common knowledge and human nature that you’d like to think it’s going to be the same but we know better than that. We need to respect this opportunity for what it is. It’s a great championship matchup for us and they’re going to come loaded up and give us a great football game.”